Bangkok is preparing to hold an array of cultural activities to mark the 240th year of its founding as the nation’s capital. These activities aim to project the kingdom’s soft power while driving cultural tourism and affirming public pride.
Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome indicated that celebrations will be held to mark the day of the city’s founding on April 21, 1782. The events will also be held to honor King Rama I, the first king of the Chakri dynasty, as well as all monarchs of the Rattanakosin era.
According to the minister, the events will expose the Thai public to cultural and historical knowledge while instilling a sense of pride. The events, to be held over a period of five days, are intended to contribute to the government’s soft power policy. Part of the policy’s aim is to stimulate economic growth from locally-produced food and goods.
The five-day celebration will be presented at nine venues from April 20-24. The first event is the sacrificial offering ceremony at Bangkok City Pillar Shrine.
The festival will include the following events:
- Offering ceremony at Bangkok City Pillar Shrine
- Making merit for former Chakri kings at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho)
- Sound-and-light shows plus special food and cultural fairs at the National Museum and National Theatre
- Paying homage at temples in Bangkok’s historic Rattanakosin Island
- Cultural expos at the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall
- Cultural expo, fairs at Santi Chai Prakan Public Park
- Contemporary art show and events on “Asean Communities in Rattanakosin: From Past to Present” at the Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Centre
- Performances at Sala Chalermkrung Theatre
- Guided bicycle tour along Khlong San after dusk
- Lakhon Chatree Dance Drama Contest in honour of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at Wat Prayoon
The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will provide free shuttle bus services for attendees at 18 stops. Inquiries can be made to the Ministry of Culture’s hotline number 1765.
All celebration events will be held in strict accordance with disease control measures issued by the Ministry of Public Health.