The Ministry of Culture is joining hands with the public and private sectors in organizing the “Bangkok River Festival 2023,” featuring the Loy Krathong Festival, one of the most fascinating and joyous water-based cultural events in Thailand.
The Bangkok River Festival 2023, the ninth of its kind, will be held on 25-27 November at 10 piers along the Chao Phraya River, connecting places of cultural and historical significance. These places include 1) Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho), 2) Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), 3) Wat Rakhang Khositaram, 4) Wat Kanlayanamit, 5) Wat Prayurawongsawat, 6) Maharat Pier, 7) Yot Phiman Pier, 8) Asiatique The Riverfront, 9) SOOKSIAM at ICONSIAM, and 10) Lhong 1919.
Minister of Culture Sermsak Pongpanit stated that the organizing of this event aims to make the Loy Krathong Festival and other Thai cultural activities better known worldwide. The festival reflects the Thais’ way of life and the intimate relationship between Thai people and waterways.
Loy Krathong takes place all over Thailand on the full-moon night of the twelfth lunar month, usually in November. This year it falls on 27 November. On this occasion, people gather on the banks of rivers and canals to float lotus blossom shaped vessels of various sizes, called krathong.
This festival is a form of thanksgiving by the people to waterways on which they depend, and it is also meant to seek pardon from the Goddess of Water for their sins in polluting waterways.
The Minister of Culture said that the organizing of the Bangkok River Festival 2023 is also intended to support the Government’s policy of promoting Thailand’s “soft power,” with the use of Thai culture and the creative economy, especially cultural tourism, in generating more income to the country and the people. It includes many activities, such as cultural shows, musical performances, food fairs, and community markets.
Thailand is preparing to propose the inscription of Loy Krathong Festival on the List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
After the Cabinet approves the proposal, the Ministry of Culture will submit it to UNESCO by 31 March 2024.