Thai government announces five-day weekend for Songkran holiday

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin declared Friday, April 12 a special government holiday, amplifying the Songkran celebrations with a five-day weekend.

The decision made a full two months ahead of the festival, aims to provide ample time for both individuals and businesses to prepare for the festivities. The 61 year old Thai PM-cum-finance minister expressed his desire for the Ministry of Tourism and Sports to spotlight second-tier provinces during this extended holiday period, spanning from April 12 to 16 inclusive.

Traditionally, April 13 to 15 mark the Songkran holidays but with April 16 designated as a holiday in place of the following Saturday, this year’s celebrations promise to be truly exceptional.

The Cabinet secretariat highlighted that beyond the joys of tourism promotion, this elongated holiday period will also serve as a boon for alleviating traffic congestion, reported Bangkok Post.

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By affording individuals greater flexibility in planning their trips, the extended break is set to usher in a smoother Songkran experience for all.

In related news, preparations are underway for the World Songkran Festival, with a meeting set to take place this week, as per a statement given by Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), last Thursday, February 8. The meeting, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Interior, the private sector, and other relevant agencies, will focus on outlining activity plans, locations, and budgets for the festival.

In other news, the Labour Ministry, headed by Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, is considering raising the minimum wage for certain professions as a Songkran festival gift. The announcement is expected to take place within a year, covering the entire country.

Additionally, the Cabinet is looking into providing a full monthly salary for maternity leave of 98 days. This was discussed at a meeting of the House of Representatives on January 11, chaired by Wan Muhammad Noor Matha, the House Speaker.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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