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Coronavirus threatens Thailand's Songkran festival

Authority plans to postpone Thai New Year festival to mitigate fall in tourism receipts

A Songkran water fight in Bangkok last year. But the spread of coronavirus this year has dampened plans.    © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Worries about spreading coronavirus has forced tourist associations in Thailand to ax Songkran celebrations, a tradition wildly popular with locals and tourists.

Khao San Road, a backpackers' haven in Bangkok, will be quiet come mid-April. Street parties, loud music and beauty contests of yore will not be held during the water-throwing festival this year, as Thailand tries to contain the spread of coronavirus. Tourism Authority of Thailand is hoping to move the festival to July instead and is awaiting government approval of this plan.

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