Songkran set to become Thailand's 4th intangible cultural heritage
Songkran, Thailand’s renowned water festival, is set to be inscribed as intangible cultural heritage (ICH) now that it has been included in Unesco’s tentative list of nominees.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) included “Songkran in Thailand, a traditional Thai New Year festival” in its list of nominations for 2023.
If Songkran is successfully inscribed, it will become the fourth ICH from Thailand on the prestigious Unesco list after Khon (Thai masked dance) in 2018, Nuad Thai (traditional Thai massage) in 2019 and Nora (dance drama in South of Thailand) in 2021.
Tom yam kung, Thailand’s famous spicy prawn soup, has been on the list of nominees since 2022, the Unesco website shows.
Thailand plans to seek ICH status for other Thai cultural heritage including Muay Thai, Phi Ta Khon (ghost mask festival in the Northeast), khao niao mamuang (mango and sticky rice), and khao kaeng (curry and rice).
Intangible cultural heritage refers to a practice, representation, expression, knowledge or skill considered by Unesco to be part of a place's cultural heritage.
There are seven branches of intangible cultural heritage –
performing arts, handicrafts, traditional literature, traditional sports, old customs, folk wisdom and language.