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Thai Calendar

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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01 : New Year's Day / วันขื้นปีใหม่

Since a few decades, the western New Year's Day is also a public holiday in Thailand. But for Thai people, the traditional and most popular New Year's Day happens in April. It is called "SONGKRAN". There is a 543 years difference between the Buddhist calendar and the Gregorian calendar. Year 2014 in Europe is year 2557 in Thailand.

11 : Thai children Day / วันเด็กแห่งชาติ

During this day, feasts organized by children happen. Children are highly respected in Thailand. In a bus an adult often gives his seat to a child but may not give it to an elderly person. This day always happens on the second saturday of January.

16 : Teachers Day / วันครู

This day is an occasion for pupils to make merit for their teachers (ไหว้ครู). Teachers are highly worshipped in Thailand for their knowledge. Pupils do not dare to embarrass their teachers by asking questions.

25 : Thai Army Day / วันกองทัพไทย

During this day, Thai King Rama IX visits the army and watches a military parade.

31 : Chinese New Year's Day / วันตรุษจีน

Thailand has more than 60 millions of inhabitants. Around 6 millions of them have Chinese ancestors, who immigrated to Thailand last century. So Chinese New year's day is an important public holiday.


14 : Valentine's Day / วันวาเลนไทน์

14 : Makabucha day / วันมาฆาบูชา

It comes from the day when 1250 disciples gathered to listen to Buddha's Dharma speech (ธรรมะ) after his enlightment.


No public holidays during this month.


06 : Chakri day / วันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์

This public holiday commemorates the Chakri dynasty. The current King is the ninth King of the Chakri dynasty. A Royal ceremony is performed by the King to pay respect to King Rama I the Great, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty.

As 06th April is a Sunday, Monday 07th is given as a substitution public holiday.

13-14-15 : Songkran / วันสงกรานต์

The "SONGKRAN" festival happens during the hot season in mid April. This festival happens in all Buddhist "THEREVADA" countries, i.e. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma (Myanmar). Songkran is the ancient New Year's Day. Now the official New Year's Day happens on the 1st January. But the most popular feast in Thailand is still "SONGKRAN".

As 13rd April is a Sunday, Wednesday 16th is given as a substitution public holiday.


01 : National Labour day / วันแรงงานแห่งชาติ

The first day of May is a public holiday commemorating the workers.

05 : Coronation day / วันฉัตรมงคล

This public holiday is a day to commemorate the coronation of current King Rama IX.

09 : Royal Ploughing / วันพืชมงคล

The Royal ploughing is done every year by Brahminic priests. This event happens in the front of the Royal temple "WAT PHRA KAEW" (วัดพระแก้ว) on the big field called "SANAM LUANG" (สนามหลวง).

This ceremony symbolises the beginning of the sowing period. Brahminic priests bless seeds and make symbolic furrows using a plough pulled by buffalos. Once the ceremony is over, onlookers run to the furrows in order to get the blessed seeds. Those seeds are supposed to bring good harvests.

This is a public holiday.

13 : Visakabucha day / วันวิสาขบูชา

This day is a Buddhist public holiday. This day commemorates the birth, the enlightment and the death (entry into the nirvana) of Buddha. Temples throughout the country are crowded with people listening to sermons about Dharma (Buddha's teaching). In the evening there is a candlelit procession around the main building of the temple (โบสถ์) containing the Buddha statues.


No public holidays during this month.


01 : Bank day / วันยุดธนาคาร

This day is not a public holiday but banks are closed to observe the Mid Year Closing Day.

11 : Asalabucha day / วันอาสาฬหบูชา

This day is a Buddhist public holiday. It happens one day just before the Buddhist Lent day. This day commemorates the first sermon of Buddha to his five first disciples. One of them asked to become a monk. So this day is sacred because it deals with Buddha, Dharma and Sangha (Buddhist community). There are also candlelit processions.

12 : Buddhist Lent day / วันเข้าพรรษา

This day is a Buddhist public holiday. It is the beginning of the Buddhist rain retreat which lasts three months. During this period monks are not allowed to sleep outside their temple. Thai people buy big candles and offer them to temples.

As 12nd July is a Saturday, Monday 14th is given as a substitution public holiday.


10 : Thetsakan Sat Chin / เทศกาลสารทจีน

This day is celebrated by the Chinese community. The Hungry Ghost Festival is a major Buddhist and Taoist event. Hungry ghosts are the restless spirits of people who did not have a funeral. There is no one visiting their graves and they do not receive the gifts that Chinese people would take to their ancestors to pay respects. They miss out on food and spirit money.

12 : H.M. The Queen's Birthday / วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษา สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าฯ พระบรมราชินีนาถ

This public holiday is Thailand Mother's Day. This day is the birthday of the current Thai Queen. On this day all the buildings of Thailand are covered up with images of H.M. The Queen.


08 : Moon festival / วันไหว้พระจันทร์

13 : Thetsakan Sat Thai / เทศกาลสารทไทย

24 : Vegetarian festival / เทศกาลกินเจ

The vegetarian festival lasts until the 02 October included, so a total of nine days.


08 : End of Buddhist Lent day / วันปวารณา ออกพรรษา

This day is a religious event. The three months rain retreat is over for monks. Monks are allowed to go out of temples. Robes offering ceremonies ("THOT KATHIN" - ทอดกฐิน) happen everywhere in Thailand. Thai people choose poor remote Buddhist temples and bring there clothes, food for the monks. "THOT KATHIN" ceremonies last one month.

09 : Robes offering ceremony start / วันออกพรรษา เริ่มกฐินกาล

The main highlight during "THOT KATHIN" festival is the "Robes offering ceremony" to the monks.

23 : Rama V 's day / วันปิยมหาราช

This is a public holiday day to commemorate the Rama V or Chulalongkorn's wise reign over Thailand. Thanks to him, Thailand did not become a French or English colony even if Thailand lost his leadership over Laos, Cambodia and the northern provinces of Malaysia. During his reign, Thailand became a modern country.


06 : Loi Krathong day / วันลอยกระทง

Loi Krathong is a religious event which happens every year on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (first full moon day of November). All Thai people buy or make a "KRATHONG". It is made of styrofoam surrounded by banana leaves, with flowers and a candle in the middle. During the evening Thai people go to places where there is a river, a pound to launch their "KRATHONG".


03 : Trooping of the Colors

During this day, Thai Royal guards parade in front of the members of the royal family and pledge allegiance to H.M. the King. They are dressed in colorful uniforms, reminding the time when coloured flags served as rallying points during the battle.

05 : H.M. The King Birthday / วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษา พระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว

This public holiday is Thailand Father's day. This day is the birthday of the current Thai King, Rama IX. All the buildings of Thailand are covered up with symbols of the monarchy and the King.

10 : Constitution Day / วันพระราชทานรัฐธรรมบูญ

Since 1932 Thailand is a democracy. Before 1932, Thailand was called Siam and was under the total rule of the King. Now Thailand is a democracy. The king has still some power, but just a moral power over Thai people, who worship him for all its kindness and goodness. Thailand is similar to English system, i.e. a King with no real power, a government and no president. This public holiday is the day to commemorate the Thai constitution.

25 : Christmas Day / วันคริสต์มาส

28 : King Taksin Memorial Day / วันสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช

31 : New Year's Eve / วันสิ้นปี

This public holiday is the last day of the year. The New Year holiday and "SONGKRAN" period have always high accident tolls. During New year holiday 2002, 501 people were killed in traffic accidents. Many were found to have been caused by reckless and drunk motorcyclists.