UNESCO, the United Nations Agency for Education, Science, Culture, Communication, and Information, has officially recognized the Thai Songkran Festival as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The announcement was made during the 18th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Kasane, Botswana.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin expressed profound gratitude on behalf of the Thai government and its people. He stated that the annual festival reflects the core values of gratitude, benevolence, and unity among Thai people.
Songkran is widely known for its lively water-splashing activities, symbolizing Thailand’s rich cultural diversity, creativity, and communal spirit. This recognition marks “Songkran in Thailand” as the fourth Thai element to be listed in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage inventory. This follows the inclusion of the “Khon” masked dance performance in 2018, “Thai Massage” in 2019, and the “Nora” dance performance from Southern Thailand in 2021.
In celebration of this honor, the Ministry of Culture is organizing an event titled “Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival” at Lan Khon Muang and Wat Suthat Thepwararam in Bangkok. The event, open to the public, is scheduled to commence tomorrow at 6 PM.
The recognition of Thai intangible cultural heritage, which involves practices, expressions, knowledge, and skills, underscores its vital role in the nation’s cultural identity. It also contributes significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals, reinforcing the cultural fabric and heritage of Thailand on a global platform. (NNT)