Thailand approves $2.9M budget for Songkran celebrations in 2024

By VNA   February 21, 2024 | 08:32 pm PT
Thailand approves $2.9M budget for Songkran celebrations in 2024
People play with water canons as they celebrate the Songkran holiday which marks the Thai New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, April 13, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thailand's cabinet has approved a special budget of 104.87 million THB (US$2.9 million) for holding the “Maha Songkran World Water Festival” in Bangkok and some key provinces in mid-April.

The festival is expected to help Thailand become one of the top 10 nations with the best festivals that capture the interest of both Thais and foreigners.

On Dec. 6, 2023, UNESCO inscribed "Songkran in Thailand, Traditional Thai New Year Festival" on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition highlights the significance of Songkran as a cultural practice that transcends mere celebration and embodies important social values and traditions.

This year's Songkran celebration will run from April 11-15, however, welcoming activities will kick off on April 1.

During the festival, celebrants can also join almsgiving to Buddhist monks and perform the traditional pouring of water on the hands of the elderly and on Buddha images. The Ministry of Tourism expects the Songkran festival to attract more than 200,000 people and generate some 3.13 billion THB in revenue.

In addition to activities during the mega festival, Thailand will also implement many policies such as visa exemption, value-added tax refund, new health insurance programs for international visitors with the highest payment up to 1 million THB in an attempt to attract about 35 million international visitors this year.

From the beginning of the year until Feb. 18, Thailand welcomed more than 5.2 million international visitors, an increase of 49% over the same period last year.

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