Phuket – April 14, 2024. Mr. Sophon Suwannarat, Phuket Governor, served as the chairman leading the heads of government agencies, private sector organizations, and the general public in the cultural network event “Songkarn in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival” in Phuket province. This year, there was a parade of Songkran carriages and cultural performances showcasing the grandeur of the Songkran festival tradition.

The procession of Songkran carriages started from in front of Limelight Shopping Mall, Phuket, turning right past the Phuket Post Office, straight to the Clock Tower roundabout, through Phuket Road, turning left onto Phang Nga Road, past Yaowarat Road, turning right onto Dibuk Road, passing in front of Wat Phut Mongkhon, and concluding at Limelight Phuket, covering a distance of 1.5 kilometers. Following that, there was an opening ceremony presided over by Ms. Laleewan Kanjanjarie, Assistant Minister to the Ministry of Culture, acting as the chairperson for the opening of the ‘Songkarn in Thailand, traditional Thai New Year festival’ event in Phuket, held from April 13-15, 2024, at 72nd Anniversary Queen Sirikit Park (Dragon Park).

For this activity, the Ministry of Culture has assigned the Provincial Cultural Office of Phuket to organize the Songkran Festival 2024 under the theme of ‘Conservation and Revitalization to Foster Participation in Preserving Songkran Traditions and Enhance Awareness of the Thai Songkran Tradition.’ This event has been registered in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and drives Soft Power in tourism and cultural festivals (Festivals) in line with government policy to promote tourism, create employment opportunities for the people and communities, and stimulate the country’s economy.

In this regard, Phuket is one of the five regional provinces (Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Samut Prakan, Chonburi, and Phuket) designated by the Ministry of Culture to organize events showcasing activities that conserve and promote cultural traditions, representing the distinctive identities of each region. This is done through traditional Songkran processions, merit-making ceremonies, and bathing rituals of revered Buddha images, as well as cultural performances, local folk games, cultural market fairs, and highlighting local cuisine.

The aim of the Songkran festival is to emphasize the activities of conserving and promoting beautiful cultural traditions and disseminating the beauty of Thai Songkran, which reflects love, respect, knowledge, tenderness, and joyfulness, while also calling for cooperation from all provinces nationwide that organize Songkran festival activities. There is an encouragement for Thais to wear traditional Thai clothing, such as floral-patterned shirts, during the festival, showcasing the attire’s identity during the celebration and being good hosts in welcoming tourists, while also advocating for safety, clean water usage, refraining from using powder, colors, high-pressure water guns, and seizing the opportunity to prevent misconduct that could tarnish Thailand’s image.

News and photos: Phuket Provincial Public Relation Office