In the early hours of this morning, local people from Samut Prakan came out in their thousands to make merit at their local temples to mark the start of the traditional Thai new year. In front of the City Pillar in Paknam, hundreds of people lined the streets in order to give alms to monks.
After the merit making, people lined up to pour rose scented water over a Buddha image and also the hands of their elders. In this picture, a local is pouring water on the hands of Mr. Kwanchai Wongnitikorn, the governor of Samut Prakan. In return he gave her a blessing for a long and healthy life.
Some people also went to their local temple to make merit for dead ancestors. This year the actitivies for Songkran have been more subdued because of the emergency decree. The Songkran Parade through town was cancelled this morning. However, this didn’t stop people going out in the aftertoon to splash water at each other.