BANGKOK — Traditional garb and garlands brushed shoulders with tank tops and water guns Friday where Lumphini Park meets Silom Road.

A retro Songkran fair opened by Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang kicked off earlier today in the park where revelers donned costumes from the old days, built sand chedis, perused handicrafts, made garlands and cheered for their favorite Miss Songkran in a beauty pageant with seven decades of history.

Aswin told reporters the fair, organized by Bangkok City Hall, would offer an alternative celebration where traditions are honored. At the park, heavy water weapons, powder dabbing and alcohol are not allowed.

The opposite is true just across Rama IV Road,where the Silom Road pandemonium of Songkran is going off as wild as ever. Water guns and powder reign over the wet battlefield, while alcohol, though forbidden by officials, is likely to remain in ready supply along the road once the bars open after 5pm.

To facilitate full Songkran spirit, Silom Road was closed from noon to midnight through Sunday, when the fair in the park will also end. – Teeranai Charuvastra

Additional reporting Asaree Thaitrakulpanich, Chayanit Itthipongmaetee, Todd Ruiz

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Pro-democracy activists hand out phone covers satirizing junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.
Pro-democracy activists hand out phone covers satirizing junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

No water fighting on Soi Silom 4, where bars will open after 5pm.
No water fighting on Soi Silom 4, where bars will open after 5pm.