SATURDAY, March 02, 2024

Govt welcomes visitors to celebrate Songkran in Thailand after UNESCO listing

Govt welcomes visitors to celebrate Songkran in Thailand after UNESCO listing

Basking in the honour of a UNESCO recognition for Songkran, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Wednesday that Thailand was ready to welcome visitors from all over the world to join and experience the festival.

Srettha’s remarks came after Songkran was recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at its meeting in Botswana.

It is the fourth recognition forThai cultural heritage, following Khon dance drama in 2018, traditional Thai massage in 2019 and Nora dance in 2021.

Government spokesman Chai Watcharong said the PM thanked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for the listing on behalf of Thai government and Thai people. Srettha also thanked related agencies for promoting the festival so far.

"Songkran is a New Year festival which is celebrated across Thailand in the middle of April every year," Chai said, citing the PM's remarks.

"It is a tradition which has been inherited by Thai people for generations," Chai said, "This beautiful and meaningful tradition reflects their gratitude to ancestors, as well as generosity, goodwill and unity."

Srettha said activities during the festival are sacred, and comprise many cultural elements. For instance, offering alms, watering Buddha figures and respected seniors, and traditional performances about the origin of Songkran.

"Hence, Songkran in Thailand has become a representative of the intangible cultural heritage as it reflects cultural diversity and human creativity," Chai quoted the PM as saying, adding that the festival was crucial for sustainable development.

The PM also emphasised that the government was ready to promote the festival globally, while hoping that discussion and understanding each other would lead to peace and security among all parties, Chai said.

"The government is ready to smilingly and warmly welcome visitors from all over the world to celebrate and experience the Songkran festival in Thailand," Chai said, quoting the PM.