BANGKOK — Revelers across the country gathered at various sites to ring in the new year with fireworks and music.

Ten of thousands of merrymakers crowded major countdown events at CentralWorld and Iconsiam, where they waited for the clock to strike midnight with tunes from local artists. More than 20,000 fireworks burst from barges on the Chao Phraya River, while fireworks display at CentralWorld went on for five minutes.

Fireworks display at CentralWorld.
Fireworks display at CentralWorld.

Fireworks also drew a large crowd of tourists to dance away the year on beaches like Pattaya and Koh Phangan in Surat Thani province.

In Buriram, Chang Arena was crammed with football fans and families who celebrated the night with concerts and celebrity appearances from Buriram United footballers.

However, New Year’s celebrations were not all about countdown raves. People also gathered at temples across the country to chant prayers on New Year’s Eve, which they believe will bring in good fortune for the year ahead.

At Bangkok’s Wat Saket, more than a thousand Buddhists put on holy threads over their heads as they prayed for hours ahead before midnight. Sanam Luang was also a popular spot among Buddhists, where devotees made merit to Buddha relics.

Authorities deployed 30,000 police officers in Bangkok to safeguard the celebrations, which were generally peaceful, national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said.

Devotees gather at Wat Saket to chant prayers on the night of Dec. 31, 2019.
Devotees gather at Wat Saket to chant prayers on the night of Dec. 31, 2019.
Devotees walk around Buddha relics to make merit Jan. 1, 2020 at Sanam Luang.
Devotees walk around Buddha relics to make merit Jan. 1, 2020 at Sanam Luang.
Devotees give alms to monks Jan. 1, 2020 at Sanam Luang.
Devotees give alms to monks Jan. 1, 2020 at Sanam Luang.