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.
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.
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.
Wat Arun New Year's celebrations photo captions: Stavros Moschopoulos.