"Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival" inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

"Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival" inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 12 Dec 2023

วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 12 Dec 2023

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Songkran is an ancient tradition of Thailand that has been celebrated since antiquity. The word "Songkran" from the Sanskrit language means "movement" or "transference" and refers to the movement of the Sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thai Songkran period is when the Sun moves from Pisces to Aries. This is a New Year celebration according to the solar calendar. Normally, it is celebrated for three days: 13 April, known as Mahasongkran Day, when the sun reaches Aries and the current year ends; 14 April, known as Nao Day, which marks the transition between the old year and the new year; and 15 April, known as Thaloengsok Day or the New Year.

On 6 December 2023, the Eighteenth Session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICS-ICH), held in Kasane, Republic of Botswana, decided to inscribe "Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival" on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage or the 2003 UNESCO Convention.

The inscription marks another pround moment for Thailand and will significantly contribute to the international recognition of the values and importance of "Songkran in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival" as the intangible cultural heritage on this very important tradition, as well as the manifestation of local wisdom and cultural diversity in various regions of Thailand. The inscription would also encourage a strong role and participation of community in promoting the learning, access, development and safeguarding of such cultural heritage for the next generation.

The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted during the UNESCO General Conference on 17 October 2003 and Thailand has become a party to the Convention since 10 September 2016. The Convention's purposes are to safeguard practices, expressions, knowledge and skills which are recognized as intangible cultural heritage of a community, a group of people or individuals.

The inscription helps raise awareness at the local, national and international levels on the importance of the intangible cultural heritage and encourages international cooperation in safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage which can be in the domains of oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledges and practices and traditional craftmanship.

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).