Thailand celebrates UNESCO recognition of Songkran festival as intangible cultural heritage

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8th December 2023 – (Bangkok) Thailand commemorated the listing of Songkran, a traditional Thai New Year festival, as an intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with a grand celebration in the capital city on Thursday. The Thai government views this recognition as an opportunity to elevate the status of the Songkran festival and position it as a global event, aiming to attract visitors and invigorate the country’s tourism-dependent economy.

During the celebration, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed his delight at the listing, describing it as a valuable gift that fills Thailand with pride and honour. The Thai government, he emphasised, is fully committed to preserving and promoting the tradition of the Songkran festival, while ensuring that people from all walks of life have equal opportunities to partake in the nationwide festivities.

In line with their cultural diplomacy efforts, Thailand has outlined plans to organise a series of large-scale events as part of the annual Songkran celebrations, which typically take place in April. These events will not only involve the customary water splashing activities but also showcase a diverse range of attractions, including festivals, music, culinary experiences, art exhibitions, and cultural performances.