Songkran fashion clock rewinds?

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BANGKOK, 10 April 2018: On the eve of the Songkran Festival a survey shows support for wearing traditional Thai costume during the annual New Year festival.

This year’s Songkran Festival runs from 12 to 16 April but in some areas of the country such as Pattaya the festival convenes a week later.

Thai PBS TV Channel reported, Monday, that a Nida Poll suggested a swing in popularity for wearing traditional costumes.

The National Institute of Development Administration conducted a random opinion survey of 1,250 people across the country last week leading up to Songkran.

While the sampling was too small to monitor a national trend, a strong showing of 84.96% respondents suggested  people were keen to revive traditional national dress at the festival

But 14%, disagreed with the idea, saying that it was wasteful because traditional costumes were expensive and required special washing treatment such as dry cleaning due to silk being the predominant fabric.

However, 64.24% said wearing traditional dress would emphasise Thai identity, which has been largely overshadowed by water war games during the festival.

The survey showed that 33.44% thought traditional costume was not suitable for hot weather, too expensive and difficult keep clean.

Usually Thai traditional dress is reserved for official government functions, visits to the temple and family celebrations such as weddings.

Recent popular TV series, such as Love Destiny, have revived interest in traditional dress synonymous with central Thailand in the late 1800s to pre World War I period.

However, the traditional dress of Northeast Thailand, the deep south and north Thailand (Lanna) have their own distinct forms that are probably more practical for fairs and festivals than the elaborate ‘court’ costumes of central Thailand.

In far north Thailand it is still customary for students to wear traditional dress for one day of the school week.