Thailand’s Songkran festival as an Intangible Cultural Heritage declares UNESCO

Thailand’s Songkran festival as an Intangible Cultural Heritage declares UNESCO

Posted by Marine2Alpine on Wednesday, 27th December 2023.

UNESCO has officially declared Songkran festival as an intangible cultural heritage. Songkran is a traditional Thai New Year festival that marks the sun’s annual passing into the Aries constellation, the first sign of the Zodiac, and the traditional start of the new year. The festival is celebrated in mid-April after the rice harvest and is a time when people reunite with their families and pay their respects to alder adults, ancestors, and sacred Buddha images. Pouring water is a significant act during Songkran, symbolizing cleansing, reverence, and good fortune.

Other activities include bathing important Buddha images, splashing water on family and friends, folk plays, games, music, and feasting. The tradition is passed on through participation in the festivities, and parents transmit the tradition to their children orally through regular social and family interactions. Educational institutes, government agencies, the media, and Thai astrologers also play an important role in preserving, promoting, and transmitting the astrological knowledge and wisdom related to Songkran.

Songkran promotes community cooperation, unity, and forgiveness. It is viewed as a time to symbolically wash away misfortunes, pray for prosperity for the coming year, reunite with family members, and honor ancestors and older adults. By emphasizing the importance of older adults and of family, Songkran helps to combat loneliness and social isolation.

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