December 6, 2023, in Kasane, Republic of Botswana, at the 18th UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee meeting for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, ‘Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival’ was officially inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (RL) under the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Government Spokesperson Chai Wacharonke disclosed gist as follows:
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Srettha Thavisin was pleased with UNESCO’s inscription of Thai Songkran, and, on behalf of the Thai Government and people, thanked the organization, and all concerned sectors for the recognition.
According to the Prime Minister, Songkran is the Thai New Year celebrated nationwide in mid-April. It is an ancient tradition of Thailand that has been celebrated since antiquity, and a demonstration of filial piety, generosity, and unity. All Songkran activities are the epitome of cultural heritages, be it, giving alms to the monks, watering Buddha images and respected seniors, and traditional performances on the origin of Songkran. Songkran in Thailand, therefore, represents intangible cultural heritage, reflects cultural diversity and human creativity, and is crucial for the country’s sustainable development endeavor.
The Thai Government would be pleased to share with the global community Songkran practices in hope that communication and common understanding would lead to peace and security. The Government is ready to warmly welcome visitors from all around the world to experience Songkran festival in Thailand.
To date, Thailand has four elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, namely, Khon Masked Dance Drama (2018), Nuad Thai (2019), Nora, Dance Drama (2021) and Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival (2023). According to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the “intangible cultural heritage” is manifested inter alia in the following domains: (a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; (b) performing arts; (c) social practices, rituals and festive events; (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; (e) traditional craftsmanship. (PRD)