Hundreds of people gathered at South Wall Road in Kowloon City on Sunday for Songkran celebrations after a three-year hiatus.
Hoards of children and adults with water guns and buckets splashed water on Sunday afternoon, after a Buddha bathing ceremony took place earlier that day as part of the Thai new year celebration.
Kowloon City, also known as “little Thailand” for the Thai community in the district, saw Songkran celebrations for the first time in the three years since Covid-19 broke out in 2020.
Aside from the watery fun, many Thai people in the area also put out Buddha bathing stations on the street. Some wiped a mixture of water and flour, or baby powder, on the faces of passersby as an act of blessing.
Traditionally, splashing water symbolises washing away bad fortune as the new year begins.
Many Hongkongers also went to the Thai district specifically for the celebrations.
Mr and Mrs. Chan, who each held a water gun ready to fend off other people when talking to HKFP, said that Sunday was the first time they took part in Songkran celebrations in Hong Kong.
The couple flew to Thailand in previous years, but stayed in the city this year as they could not get flights.
The police cordoned off South Wall Road from around 2 p.m.. With the water splashing scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., police officers attempted to stop excited children from splashing water until the official start time – albeit to no avail.
Mr. Hon, owner of a Thai grocery store, told HKFP that he had prepared Thai perfumes used for Buddha bathing and water guns for the celebrations.
Hon also said that he was a bit nervous as the celebrations returned to Kowloon City after three years.
“I hope people stay safe and have fun,” he said.
The city saw the return of several mass public events since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. Hong Kong, at one point, maintained one of the world’s strictest social-distancing regimes, with public gatherings of more than two people barred, and a mask mandate implemented.
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