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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Thai Songkran Festival celebrated in HCMC

By Kim Ngan

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HCMC – The Thai Consulate General in HCMC today, April 20, held Thai Songkran Festival 2024 to celebrate the Thai New Year and the UNESCO’s recent inscription of Songkran as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In her opening remarks, Wiraka Moodhitaporn, consul general of Thailand in HCMC, said that the Thai Songkran Festival 2024 marks the first in-person celebration since the outbreak of Covid-19 four years ago. It also marks the first time that foreign friends have participated in the festival.

Guests have the opportunity to engage in traditional rituals such as the Buddha bathing ritual, pouring water on the hands of the elderly to seek blessings, savoring Thai cuisine, enjoying Thai dance performances and Thai massage, and participating in joyful games. Notably, they can take part in thrilling water fights.

The festival not only served as a platform for the Thai community to celebrate their cultural heritage but also provided an opportunity for local residents to experience Thai traditions.

Wiraka Moodhitaporn, consul general of Thailand in HCMC, delivers her opening remarks
Wiraka Moodhitaporn, consul general of Thailand in HCMC, and Daniel Stork, consul general of the Netherlands in HCMC, participate in a ceremonial pouring of scented water to inaugurate the festival
This ritual aims to express gratitude, filial piety, and wishes for blessings to come to everyone
The water used in the ritual is often mixed with fragrant herbs and flowers such as jasmine, rose, or marigold
The Buddha bathing ritual not only expresses the reverence for the Buddha but also gives everyone a chance to introspect themselves
Students of the Department of Thai Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities perform Thai dance
Students of the Department of Thai Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities perform Thai dance
Guests are treated to a feast of Thai cuisine…
… and receive many interesting gifts when participating in the games at the festival

Songkran is the water-splashing festival marking Thai New Year celebration. It is widely celebrated across South and Southeast Asia. Taking place in mid-April after the rice harvest, it serves as a time for family reunions and paying respect to ancestors and elderly people.

The festival is viewed as a time to wash away bad luck, dispel sadness and fatigue from the old year, and bring luck and happiness for the upcoming bright year.

Songkran was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 6, 2023.

Attendees engage in water fights
Children are also eager to join the battle
(L-R) Ono Masuo, consul general of Japan in HCMC, Agustaviano Sofjan, consul general of the Republic of Indonesia in HCMC, Triastuti Damarjati Sofjan, the wife of the Indonesian consul general, pose for a photo
The Thai Songkran Festival 2024 attracts Thais, Vietnamese and other expats
A family in a photo op

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