11/04/2024 11:21 PM

BANGKOK, April 11 (Bernama) -- The Thai government today kicked off the Maha Songkran World Water Festival 2024 to showcase the country's diverse traditions in conjunction with the upcoming Songkran or Thai New Year.

The festival began with a vibrant display of Thai culture and heritage with a one-kilometre parade featuring 20 grand processions and over 1,000 performers snaking through the heart of Bangkok.

Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol said this extravagant parade is a rare spectacle in Bangkok.

She said it celebrates the time-honoured traditions of “Songkran in Thailand, the traditional Thai New Year festival” that is listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

"Everyone is welcome to be part of celebrating the traditional beliefs and local traditions that set Songkran in Thailand apart from all other countries," she said during the festival here today.

She added that there are 16 provinces showcasing their unique Songkran traditions, highlighting both established and up-and-coming festivals. Songkran is celebrated annually from April 13 to 15, marking the start of the Thai New Year.

Tomorrow (April 12), is an additional public holiday announced by the Thailand government and April 16 is another public holiday in lieu of April 13 falling on a Saturday. 

Songkran is often marked by family reunions, paying respects to elders, ancestors and sacred Buddha images. The festival is known for its joyous water-throwing activities, lively parades, and colourful displays.




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