Unique Songkran celebration for Unesco status

Feeling festive: A file photo of people playing with water as they celebrate Songkran in Bangkok, Thailand. — Reuters

The country’s Culture Ministry is calling on all Thais to join a unique Songkran celebration in anticipation of Unesco’s announcement of the festival as Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).

Penpisut Jintasophon, the ministry’s spokesperson, said Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanit is inviting people to participate in today’s celebrations at the Lan Khon Muang grounds opposite Bangkok’s City Hall.

The Culture Ministry proposed “Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year” to Unesco for ICH recognition.

Penpisut said the ministry had received an informal notification indicating the Unesco announcement.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will preside over the event.

Pheu Thai Party leader Paetongtarn Shinawatra, who chairs the national soft power committee, had announced plans to extend Songkran celebrations throughout April 2024.

The aim is to elevate the event as the country’s soft power.

If officially declared, Songkran will become the fourth Thai tradition to receive Unesco’s recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The other three are Khon performance art, Thai massage and Nora dancing. — The Nation/ANN

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