World Songkran Festival to last from April 1 to 21

Photo courtesy of Holidays Calendar

In an exciting announcement, government spokesman Chai Wacharonke yesterday revealed that plans were underway to organise World Songkran Festival activities nationwide.

This decision comes hot on the heels of UNESCO’s recent recognition of the Songkran festival as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

“The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has formally acknowledged the significance of the Songkran festival by presenting its certificate to the Culture Ministry.”

The eagerly anticipated World Songkran Festival aims to showcase the rich tapestry of local traditions and activities associated with Songkran. Cultural networks across the 76 provinces and 50 districts of Bangkok will spearhead the organisation of these events.

The journey towards UNESCO recognition for Songkran began in March 2020 when the government of Prayut Chan-o-cha submitted the application, reported Bangkok Post.

For those unfamiliar, Songkran marks the traditional Thai New Year, typically celebrated nationwide from April 13 to 15 each year. Festivities include offering alms to monks, pouring water over the palms of respected elders, captivating cultural performances, and the ever-popular, somewhat notorious water-splashing activities.

In related 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 at 10.30am, chaired by Wan Muhammad Noor Matha, the House Speaker.

In other news, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) rolled out a game-changing 90-day advance booking service for CNR express trains on key routes, just in time for the upcoming Songkran festivities.

This initiative, which kicked off on January 12, aims to alleviate the surge in travel demand during the Thai New Year celebrations. Kicking off with Songkran, the service allows eager travellers to snag advance tickets for eight return services on CNR express trains plying the northern, northeastern, and southern lines.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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