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Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 officially launched

The festival from 11-15 April in Bangkok is in celebration of UNESCO's inscription of ‘Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival’ on the prestigious Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.

Bangkok, 2 April 2024 – The Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 was officially launched at the 42nd Thailand Tourism Festival in Bangkok, promising a grand celebration of the traditional Thai New Year, a UNESCO-listed Intangible Cultural Heritage. The festival is scheduled from 11-15 April in Bangkok.

Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 officially launched

Tourism and Sports Minister, Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, said “The Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 marks the global recognition of the vibrant celebration of Thai New Year. The five-day spectacle is a part of the government’s soft power promotion policy to boost the country’s cultural significance on the global stage.”

The opening ceremony offered a prelude into the epic spectacle as preparations begin for the five-day event, which has been planned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in celebration of UNESCO’s inscription of ‘Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival’ on the prestigious Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List.

The vibrant parade of distinctive Songkran processions from five regions, including a stunning procession of the Nang Songkran goddess of 2024, exhibited only a part of the epic parade of 20 processions planned for 11 April.

The 11 April parade will march along the Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue, starting from the Phan Fa Lilat Bridge and concluding at Sanam Luang, and will remain there until 15 April.

Heading the stretch of 20 exquisite processions will be the procession of Buddha image, followed by the procession of Mahodhara Devi – the Nang Songkran goddess of 2024, the processions of distinctive Songkran traditions of 16 provinces along with cultural performances from over 1,000 performers, the processions of unique Songkran traditions of five other provinces, and the processions of Thai soft power.

Songkran in Thailand is celebrated nationwide as a three-day Thai New Year holiday from 13-15 April. Songkran is on 13 April, which is also National Elderly Day. April 14 and April 15 were declared later as National Family Day and Thai New Year Day, respectively.

The five-day festival features a packed schedule of events to offer tourists a delightful glimpse into the nationwide celebrations of Songkran and for Thais to be proud of the nation’s cultural heritage.

Minister Attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, Mrs. Puangpet Chunlaiad, said “Songkran for Thais is a time for people who have moved to other cities or towns to travel back home for family reunions, pay respects to the elders and ask for blessings, as well as visiting temples for merit-making activities. People are advised always to be careful when travelling during this celebratory time.”

The Ministry of Culture is inviting everyone to participate in Songkran festivities in Bangkok and five other unique locations, namely Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, and Phuket, to celebrate the UNESCO ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ status of Songkran in Thailand.

“Thais are also encouraged to visit temples to make offerings and to pray for good luck in provinces with the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Sukhothai, Kamphaeng Phet, Ayutthaya, Udon Thani, and Phetchabun, as well as exploring local experiences at the 10 model tourism communities of 2023,” Culture Minister, Mr. Sermsak Pongpanit, said.

The 10 model tourism communities announced by the Ministry of Culture are located in Kanchanaburi, Chumphon, Chiang Saen, Phrae, Yasothon, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Lamphun, Samut Sakhon, and Udon Thani.

TAT is also using the opening ceremony as a centre stage to launch 72 faith-based tourism routes in different locations across five regions.

Some of the routes include the journey to pay homage to Buddha relics, the trip in the footprints of high-revered monks, and the travel itinerary to visit famous temples. Each route comprises tourism communities, local attractions, temples and monasteries, and distinctive culinary experiences.

The “Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024” as well as Songkran festivities across the country during 12-16 April are expected to inspire more travel and tourism activities, resulting in 24.42 billion Bath in overall tourism revenue.

This constitutes 8.76 billion Baht from international tourism and 15.66 billion Baht from domestic tourism with, 510,000 visitor arrivals and 4.29 million domestic trips.

Songkran celebrations in Bangkok are expected to generate 3.69 billion Baht in revenue and attract 653,590 domestic trips.

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The TAT International Public Relations Division works with traditional and online media channels to promote Thailand as a tourism destination for travellers worldwide.

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