Bangkok, 5 April 2023 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is celebrating the traditional Thai New Year of Songkran with two major events in Bangkok – the Amazing Songkran 2023 Celebration and the first International Amazing Splash 2023 from 13-15 April 2023 at Chula Soi 5 (Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park and Stadium One) – as well as supporting the hosting of Songkran events and festivities up and down the country.
The traditional Thai New Year of Songkran, the biggest and most important of Thailand’s annual festivals, has been celebrated for centuries and is full of tradition and culture. Named by the International Festivals and Events Association ASIA (IFEA ASIA) as one of Asia’s top three major festivals, Songkran Festival is very much a part of Thailand’s 5F soft-power foundations of Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “TAT is leveraging Thailand’s Amazing 5F to offer meaningful travel experiences while placing focus on enhancing the quality of tourism products and services. Part of this is to elevate local festivals and traditions onto the international stage, or Local to Global, starting with Songkran. The launch of the International Amazing Splash 2023 is aimed to highlight international cultural events and traditions similar to Songkran while helping to strengthen relations and cultural exchanges.”
The Amazing Songkran 2023 Celebration and the first International Amazing Splash 2023 in Bangkok will comprise four key elements.
The first of these being the launch of the International Amazing Splash 2023 on 13 April with a parade representing Thailand and four other countries – China, India, Japan, and South Korea – that have similar celebrations to Songkran.
- Thailand’s participation in the parade will highlight the procession of the Emerald Buddha statue and floats of the Goddess of Songkran.
- China’s participation will promote the water splashing festival or Po Shui Jie, observed by the Dai ethnic people of Xishuangbanna Prefecture.
- India’s participation represents the Holi Festival, which marks the beginning of spring after a long winter and signifies the triumph of good over evil.
- Japan’s participation highlights the Setsubun festival, which involves the eating and throwing of beans to ward off evil spirits.
- South Korea’s participation promotes the Boryeong Mud Festival, a summer event that celebrates the highly prized mud of Boryeong town.
The second element of the celebrations will be the Amazing Splash of the World, a showcase of international cultural events and traditions similar to Thailand’s Songkran, aimed at further strengthening cultural exchanges and international relations.
The Amazing Songkran 2023 Celebration will showcase unique celebrations of Songkran from the five regions of Thailand, through activities visitors can try themselves. These are making tungs (flags) and preparing scented water for the Rot Nam Dam Hua ritual – where young people prepare scented water with which to wash their parents’ or elders’ hands to ask for blessing (from the North), preparing summertime and Songkran dishes and desserts such as Khao Chae (from the Central region), the Phuk Seow tradition which involves the tying of strings around the wrist to preserve good luck (from the Northeast), unhusked rice castle building unique to Chachoengsao and sand castle building unique to Chon Buri (from the East), and the Nang Dan Parade of Nakhon Si Thammarat (from the South).
Other activities promoting local Thai wisdom will also be on show for visitors to try, including the Song Nam Phra ritual of purifying a Buddha image with scented water as a way of paying respect to the Lord Buddha and bringing good fortune to the person.
The festivals of South Korea, India, China, and Japan will also be represented.
For South Korea’s Boryeong Mud Festival, there will be a mud pool with mud bath, mud mask, games, and other activities to enjoy, along with a DJ from South Korea.
For India’s Holi Festival, visitors can try the Indian tradition of using coloured powders to represent friendship, there will be a music performance by Indian women dancing Bollywood style, and a place to worship the Hindu god, Ganesh.
For China’s Po Shui Jie, there will be traditional costumes of the Tai Lue people of Yunnan on show, along with cultural performances and a ceremony to ask for rain from the angels of heaven and earth.
For Japan’s Setsubun Festival, there will be a ceremony to wish for good health and to keep away disease.
The third element will be at the MAIN STAGE SPLASH. There will be Thai artists, singers, and DJs including Joey Boy, Aof Pongsak, and the bands LAZ1, No One Else, and Yes Indeed, as well as DJs from South Korea, India, Japan, and China, various cultural performances, and the WATERBOMB and fun water tunnels throughout the three days of the event.
The fourth part of the activities will be the AMAZING FOOD section, featuring food booths and food trucks offering cuisine from Thailand, South Korea, India, Japan, and China.
The biggest and most important of Thailand’s annual festivals, the traditional Thai New Year of Songkran is celebrated everywhere and as with each year TAT is supporting the hosting of Songkran events and festivities up and down the country. A list of these can be seen at April 2023’s festivals and events in Thailand – TAT Newsroom.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Apichat Suriboonya, Deputy Commissioner of the Tourist Police Bureau said “to ensure the safety and security of all Thais and foreign tourists attending the Songkran celebrations, the Tourist Police is cooperating with TAT to step up safety and security by deploying 4,000 tourist polices and volunteers to Songkran events nationwide. Policemen and patrol vehicles will be equipped with live camera which will be used to monitor and broadcast the situation to the command centre. So, this will facilitate the assistance to the tourists more conveniently and aim to reinforce confidence in Thailand tourism”.