Thailand staged the grand countdown celebrations, welcoming in 2016 and marking the dawn of the ASEAN Economic Community, at the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun, one of the kingdom’s important landmarks.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “The Thailand Countdown 2016 at Wat Arun is set to help reinforce the good image of Thailand as a global tourist destination, underlining one of the country’s distinctive characteristics or ‘Thainess’. This grand celebration is also to commemorate His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 88th birthday anniversary and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 84th birthday.”
Thailand organised the New Year countdown at Wat Arun for the first time. The grand celebrations to mark the down of the New Year included a 9-minute pyrotechnic display of more than 5,500 fireworks, including 2,016 to ring in the global New Year and the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community, 2,559 to ring in Buddhist Year, and 999 to pay homage to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Other highlights were the 45-minute ‘Chronicle of the Land’ multi-media performance of lighting together with music by the Mahanakhorn Philharmonic Orchestra and Usa Asil, the first multi-cultural ASEAN music ensemble. There were also two sessions of the sacred New Year praying for prosperity in the coming year at Wat Arun.
People around the world were able to watch the live broadcasted countdown celebration via www.youtube.com/Thailand and various TV channels.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “TAT, in collaboration with the concerned public and private sectors, is organising the Thailand Countdown 2016 at Wat Arun with utmost respect to the country’s most important historical landmarks. Our sincere intention is to portray the image of Thailand as the destination with historical significance, which forms part of Thainess, and aptly represents the pride of Thailand. ”
The New Year countdown was part of the three-day Thailand Countdown 2016, which took place at Wat Arun and across the river. Near the Nagaraphirom Park, the road section was turned into evening pedestrian street with the theme of an ancient Thai-style market, selling GI (geographical indication) products from across the country, the one-tambon-one-product (OTOP) selections from the12 hidden gems and 12 hidden gems plus destinations, and famous products from 50 districts of Bangkok.
The event was estimate to draw more than 2.6 million Thai and international tourists during 31 December, 2015, to 3 January, 2016 and generating about 12.4 billion Baht.