Unlike other lunar new year celebrations outside Thailand, Songkran is not a fashion-friendly festival. When you’re likely to be soaked to your skivvies as soon as you step out of your home, who would want to dress their best? Since the Thai New Year is not associated with new clothes, people are not inclined to buy any, which explains why retail sale is especially dismal in the month of April. The end to the Red Shirt protest is nowhere in sight, yet some retailers are rather unfazed by the Ratchaprasong shutdown, claiming that it won’t make a huge dent on the month’s usual figures.
While the Thai version of the Hawaiian shirt has strangely become synonymous with the laid-back, sanook style most people adopt these days to get drenched, it hasn’t become de rigueur during the three days of merry-making. Many Bangkokians consider the shirts look toong. That’s why you need to be very young to wear one in order to escape looking like you’re fresh off the Sakhon Nakhon–Bangkok express bus.