As countdown begins for New Year, Thailand announces its plans to usher in 2017. To memorably celebrate the nation’s Thainess and to incorporate tributes to the Thai monarchy as well as the happiness of the Thai people into the New Year celebrations this year, a traditional candle lighting and prayer ceremony, called Sang Thien Haeng Siam or Candlelight of Siam, will take place at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang and various locations nationwide and overseas on 31 December, with locals and foreign visitors invited to join.
H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand said, “We would like ‘the Candlelight of Siam’ to be a meaningful event that celebrates everything that unites us as a nation and as a people – our loyalty, our faith and our love and respect for the monarch. The New Year’s singing, candle lighting, praying and sharing will bring people together as friends, as families and let us welcome 2017 in a way that reflects our unique culture and heritage.”
Soraya Homchuen, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand in Mumbai commented, “New Year celebrations across the globe have commenced in full swing, and like every year we have plans to bring in the New Year in a true Thai way that will be memorable. Thailand will usher in 2017 with ‘the Candlelight of Siam’, which is a traditional ceremony that aims to encourage Thai people to preserve important features of Thai society, especially the nation, religion, and the monarchy. This will be one of its kind experiences with people singing to New Year Blessings songs and the Royal Anthem to pay respect to King Rama X. We would like to extend an invitation to our guests from India to join us for this ceremony and get an experience of a lifetime.”
The Candlelight of Siam event will take place on 31 December, 2016, at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang. The event will start at 19.00 Hrs. with locals and foreign visitors invited to join the pre-New Year Countdown activities including writing an oath to live a good life, getting a candle for the lighting ceremony, and taking part in Buddhist rituals. Later, at 21.00 Hrs., everyone will be invited to take part in an 89-second silence to pay respect to the late King Rama IX marking his 89 years. On 1 January, 2017, at least 100,000 candles will be lit and New Year’s prayers will take place to welcome the New Year.
From India, TAT expects around 13,200 travelers for the New Year holiday period. Globally, TAT expects to welcome around 375,000 international arrivals, up by 5 percent during the New Year holiday period (31 December, 2016 – 3 January, 2017), generating tourism revenue of around 55.5 billion Thai Baht or up by 12 percent from last yea