Month-long Songkran plan criticised

People throng Khao San Road to celebrate the Songkran festival in April. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
People throng Khao San Road to celebrate the Songkran festival in April. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

The National Soft Power Development Committee has clarified its idea of staging the Songkran festival for the whole month of April, saying the water-splashing festivities will be held on April 13-15 as usual, following criticism of the plan.

Critics said that the idea is impractical and a month-long water splashing event would be a huge waste of water and increase road accidents.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, Pheu Thai Party leader and chairwoman of the committee, previously said the committee had wanted to promote Songkran to become one of the world's best festivals.

''We will not splash water only for three days but the whole month with events to be held nationwide," she said.

The committee expects the extended festival to generate 35 billion baht for the economy, she wrote on her Facebook page.

The Songkran festival will now be listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage item by Unesco, a committee member said.

''But it is not about water-splashing the whole month,'' a committee member told the Bangkok Post.

''Water-splashing activities in each province will still be held in their usual tradition, but throughout the whole month we will also organise events to promote the country's soft power.

''For example, water-splashing will take place on April 13-15 in Bangkok. Afterwards, other cultural events will be organised to promote soft power in various locations in the capital such as on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, and Lumpini Park,'' he said.

Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang said on Sunday that if activities are to be held in all 77 provinces throughout April, there may not be enough police to keep order, though soldiers would be on stand-by to help if necessary.

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  • committee: a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ
  • critic: someone who gives their opinion about something - นักวิจารณ์
  • criticism: comments that show that you think something is wrong or bad - การวิจารณ์
  • cultural (adj.): related to the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organization of a particular country or group - วัฒนธรรม
  • generate: to produce - ผลิต, ก่อให้เกิด
  • impractical: of something that cannot be done or used easily or effectively - ซึ่งไม่มีประสิทธิภาพเมื่อนำมาใช้งานจริง,ที่ใช้งานไม่ได้
  • necessary (adj.): essential, needful, something that you must do or have - จำเป็น, ซึ่งเลี่ยงไม่ได้, ซึ่งเป็นที่ต้องการ, สำคัญ
  • order: a situation in which everything is well organized or arranged - ความเป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
  • soft: not strict enough; weak - ไร้น้ำหนัก อ่อนด้วยเหตุผล
  • splash: to hit something noisily with a liquid - กระเด็นเปื้อน, สาดกระเด็น
  • waste: the failure to use something valuable in an effective way, so that it does not produce the benefits that it could - การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์
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