104 million baht set aside for grand Songkran celebrations this year


The Cabinet has approved a special budget of 104.87 million baht for holding the “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” in Bangkok and some key provinces in mid-April.

Kenikar Oonjit, deputy government spokesperson, said the Cabinet agreed on Tuesday to shift the funds from the central emergency fund of the 2023 fiscal year for the festival. The money will be spent on holding special Songkran festivities in Bangkok and some provinces with unique identities.

These special celebrations will run from April 11 to 15, she said.

Key venues of the celebrations in Bangkok would be Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue and Sanam Luang.

As part of the celebrations, there will be a grand procession highlighting unique Songkran traditions from 16 provinces. Products from 11 key soft power industries will also be put on show. Traditional performances and concerts by well-known Thai and foreign artists are also on the agenda, while musical fountains, water tunnels and a giant bowl spilling water will be seen across the city.

Songkran celebrants can also join almsgiving to Buddhist monks and perform the traditional pouring of water on the hands of the elderly and on Buddha images.

Kenikar said the project was proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry to promote tourism, especially during Songkran.

After the festivities, the government plans to patent the right to hold a Maha Songkran World Water Festival every year, the spokesperson said.

She added the Tourism Ministry expects the Songkran festival to attract more than 200,000 people and generate some 3.13 billion baht in revenue.

She added that the event would also mark UNESCO’s recognition of “Songkran in Thailand” as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity”.

104 million baht set aside for grand Songkran celebrations this year

On December 6, 2023, UNESCO inscribed "Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival" on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition highlights the significance of Songkran as a cultural practice that transcends mere celebration and embodies important social values and traditions.

Kenikar said the government hoped the festival would help Thailand become one of the top 10 nations with the best festivals that capture the interest of both Thais and foreigners.