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Thailand to promote Songkran as global festival after Unesco listing

Thailand held a celebration in the capital Bangkok on Thursday to mark the listing of Songkran, a traditional Thai New Year festival, as an intangible cultural heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

Thailand is poised to promote the Songkran festival in the Southeast Asian country as a global event to help attract visitors and bolster its tourism-reliant economy.

The listing on Wednesday was a valuable gift that brings pride and honour to Thailand, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said at the celebration.

The Thai government is committed to preserving and promoting the tradition of Songkran festival, along with providing equal opportunities for people from all walks of life to join the celebrations nationwide, Srettha said.

As part of its efforts to promote the cultural soft power, Thailand is planning to hold a series of large-scale events for the annual Songkran celebrations, which fall in April, the government said in a statement.

Apart from traditional water splashing activities, the celebrations will feature a wide variety of attractions, including festivals, music, food, art, and cultural events, the statement said.

Songkran is the fourth Thai intangible cultural heritage to be inscribed on the Unesco list, following Khon masked dance drama, traditional Thai massage, and Nora dance drama.

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