Chiang Mai’s Songkran Starts Early to Combat PM2.5 Particles

A water cannon sprays water to reduce dust particles in Chiang Mai province.

CHIANG MAI — Thai New Year’s water festival will arrive early in Chiang Mai this year as the government seeks public participation to combat the city’s persistent air pollution.

Instead of the usual starting dates of April 13 through April 15, citizens and tourists in the northern city can splash each other and fire away their water guns from April 3 onward, according to government spokesman Col. Wanthai Lorlen.

“Amazing PM4.0 Thailand” will last until April 15, Wanthai said.

“The event is lacking press coverage. Some people may not know about this early Songkran,” he told the media. “Please pass this information to everyone you know.”


The authorities hope all-out water fights will help ease the level of PM2.5 dust particles in the region. Officials have been spraying water at building rooftops and roads in the hope of reducing toxic particles, to a mixed success.

Pollution there reaches “Hazardous” level in recent weeks, causing residents to vent their anger at the government for perceived inaction.

Col. Wanthai said “Amazing PM4.0 Thailand” is part of Pracharath initiatives, which encourages communities to take up action and fix problems by themselves instead of waiting for the central government’s help.

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