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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2023

Montira Intason

The qualitative approach was applied the discover the optimum answers to the research objectives, which are (1) to understand the cultural and hedonistic characteristics of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The qualitative approach was applied the discover the optimum answers to the research objectives, which are (1) to understand the cultural and hedonistic characteristics of the (Lanna) Songkran festival; and (2) to examine the dilemma between cultural rituals and hedonistic activity for tourism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a case study of the Songkran festival in Chiang Mai to examine the dilemma between cultural rituals and hedonism for tourism, which brings lost or misperceived cultural values and identities. The semi-structured interview (SSI) with senior locals and participant observation during the festival was conducted in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to obtain the in-depth phenomena of the existing celebration pattern at the festival.

Findings

The study findings show three crucial phenomena that explain characteristics of unsynchronized cultural rituals and hedonistic activities for tourism: (1) the parallel phenomenon between cultural values and celebration practice, (2) the movement of local culture and(3) the hedonistic characteristics of the festival.

Practical implications

The study extends the knowledge on the interplay phenomena between cultural festivals and tourism; also, the involved stakeholders, such as local communities, public sectors and private sectors, can use the study findings in creating policies for using cultural festivals to promote a destination and urban economic development that will minimise cultural values distort while increase tourism economic values.

Originality/value

This study was conducted qualitatively, including SSIs and participant observation at the Songkran festival in Chiang Mai. The study findings were analysed, based on the empirical data, into significant themes representing the characteristics of dilemma phenomena within the festival.

Details

International Journal of Event and Festival Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-2954

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 June 2021

Montira Intason, Willem Coetzee and Craig Lee

The contradiction between the purpose of the water-splashing tradition, the use of water in a water-stressed destination and overconsumption during a time of water shortage led…

Abstract

Purpose

The contradiction between the purpose of the water-splashing tradition, the use of water in a water-stressed destination and overconsumption during a time of water shortage led the researchers to question the spirit of the Songkran Festival. It is important to keep the spirit of the festival alive without interrupting the livelihoods of the community and to critically engage with opportunities and challenges related to water-saving practices during the festival. Thus, this study aims to investigate the opportunities and challenges to responsible practices of water-saving at a cultural festival, using a case study of the water-splashing practice at the Songkran Festival in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used the cultural practice, namely, the water-splashing tradition at the Songkran Festival in Thailand, as a case study. The researchers conducted document analysis on local newspapers, the Bangkok Post specifically and participant observation at the Songkran Festival in the Khao San Road area in Bangkok, to gain first-hand insights to develop comprehensive results which answers the study’s objectives.

Findings

The key findings show three significant themes representing the opportunities for implementing sustainable water-saving practices; a call for a water-saving campaign, education on water saving and water-splashing restrictions. In terms of challenges to implementing water-saving practices, two key themes emerged; a lack of water stress and drought awareness and the hedonistic characteristic of water splashing. The study findings provide important implications to theory and practice for sustainable event management and provide considerations for event stakeholders to minimise water overuse in festivals.

Originality/value

Environmental degradation is a key global issue that the United Nations addresses in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) scheme (United Nations Development Program, 2016). According to Pereira et al. (2009), water scarcity can be caused by both human activities and natural causes. Factors such as unlimited water consumption, population growth and climate change are some of the contributing factors that not only affects resident's access to water but also on events hosted within communities. It is crucial that event managers critically re-think the way festivals are designed in water-stressed destinations.

Details

International Journal of Event and Festival Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-2954

Keywords

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