Only in Singapore: No Songkran

SINGAPORE - It's hard to imagine this could happen anywhere but Singapore.

Authorities were supposedly appalled at advertisements for "Asia's biggest water festival (outside Thailand)" and have told organisers there will be no water-throwing, no water pistols, no public drinking.

Instead, the Lion City's first Celebrate Songkran will be a more typical Singapore holiday.

The nation and any foreigners who wish to join can enjoy the "Water Conservation and Water Heritage Exhibition in conjunction with national water agency PUB".

The motto of the PUB, Singapore's official water agency, is "Water for All", but that does not mean for throwing or shooting.

According to the Straits Times newspaper, it was appropriate to cancel the Songkran part of the Celebrate Songkran festival "in view of the recent dry spell and current moves to cut back on water usage".

The brief Straits Times story drew many quick comments.

Many continued the week-long criticism of Singapore for "stealing" the Songkran celebration from Thailand. Several were critical of the government. "So we are now telling the world our water producing capabilities are not as good as acclaimed?" was one.

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