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Alternative ways to welcome a brand new year

A look at the cultural activities being organized over the holidays

Culture Minister Ittipol Khunpluem is inviting Thais to celebrate New Year 2020 in a more traditional way by attending  one or more of a series of activities the Ministry is organizing over the long holidays. They include a “cross-year” prayer, a day trip to visit and seek blessings from 10 temples and free admission to museums and historical parks nationwide. The activities are divided into four categories, as follows:

Merit-making: To bring good luck to yourself and those you love, mark the countdown by taking part in special cross-year prayers at temples and designated sites nationwide as New Year’s Eve passes into New Year’s Day. Free rides are being offered for a day trip that takes in 10 Bangkok temples including Wat Arun, Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho) and Wat Suthat between 8am to 4.30pm from December 28 to January 1. The number of temples signifies the reign of King Rama X. A similar trip to 10 temples is also being organized at 72 temples upcountry. Or worship 10 important Buddha statues at the National Museum Phra Nakhon in downtown Bangkok or at other museums upcountry such as Luang Por Phetch statue at Chai Nat’s Chainatmuni National Museum or Phra Nirantarai statue at Phra Nakhon Khiri historical park in Phetchaburi.

Photo Credit: Department of Fine Arts

Visits to historical and cultural sites: To promote a better understanding of Thai history and culture, the ministry offers free admission to Thai nationals at 41 national museums and 11 historical parks, some of which are also holding cultural performances to entertain visitors between December 28 and January 1 If you’re staying in Bangkok, you can visit the Contemporary Art Gallery, also in Phra Nakhon on December 29 and on January 2.

Promoting cultural diversity: Attend various cultural events including food fests, handicraft markets or art performances from now through January 1 at key tourist attractions nationwide or wait a bit then head to the educational institutes under Nakhon Pathom-based Bunditpatanasilpa Institute – which is responsible for cultural education in the fields of dance, music , arts and crafts for a series of performances between January 5 and 31.

Photo Credit: Office of Contemporary Art and Culture

Send Season’s Greetings Thai-style: Send electronic greeting cards to your loved ones for the New Year via www.ocac.go.th, which is not only convenient and saves money, but is also environmentally friendly.

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