The Thai military authorities have announced a miserable crackdown on key ingredients in the modern celebration of Songkran.
Public celebrations have over the years turned into several days of dance parties and alcohol-fuelled water fights where locals and tourists soak each other with buckets and pump-action water guns.
Thailand however is currently beset by its worst drought in decades and is ruled by a junta keen to break the country's reputation for sybaritic excess.
There were initial calls for voluntary restraint and suggestions that celebrants should simply sprinkle drops of water on others or use mister-spray bottles. The authorities have now announced a series of measures and bans in an attempt to curb the fun.
In Bangkok, the celebrations in the backpacker haunt of Khao San Road will be cut back from four days to two, while in the business centre of Silom, one day is being lopped off. They are also supposed to end at 9pm rather than run past midnight. The
city government will no longer run or allow free water distribution centres and public consumption of alcohol is also supposed to be banned.
The country's military rulers are also determined to curtail the sybaritic excess that has become associated with the celebrations as skimpily-clad party-goers throng streets or dance on top of parade vehicles to booming techno music. The main Silom
celebration will now feature a cultural parade rather than a dance party.
Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha, the junta leader aid that displays of sexuality by Thais would give foreigners the wrong message by encouraging them to behave in similar fashion.
Don't do anything that make farangs [foreigners] think they can do anything. They come here for Thainess. Please don't do anything that shames the country and please do conserve water.
In Chiang Mai, the governor has announced a ban on X-ray pants which turn translucent when soaked. He also said his officials would prevent displays of sexy dance moves and sexy muscles .
Also banned by the junta this year are red plastic water bowls bearing a Songran message from Thaksin Shinawatra, the deposed prime minister. The message reads:
The situation may be hot, but brothers and sisters may gain coolness from the water inside this bucket.