Traditional Holidays in Thailand
Due to the respect and observation given to the teaching of Buddha and the devotion to the Buddhist religion then the festivals and public holidays reflect this.
To western people there might seem a great number of these observed days and national days but you must consider that the average annual holiday entitlement for a worker in Thailand is six days.
Some of the Thai holidays follow the western calendar whilst the other ones are based around the lunar year and therefore the dates tend to change from year to year.
New Years Eve & New Years Day
Dec 31st & Jan 1st
Both these days are public holidays in Thailand, many Thai’s go to the temple on the first day of the year to make offerings.
This is a traditional Buddhist day that takes place on the night of the full moon in the third lunar month. It is an extremely important date in the history of Buddhism. It is when 1200 disciples gathered to listen to Buddha giving a sermon laying out the principles of the religion. The three core teachings are; Not to do evil, to do good and to purify the mind.
This day is to celebrate and acknowledge the reigning dynasty. The Chakri dynasty is widely loved and respected throughout the kingdom and it is when it’s citizens stop and pay homage.
April 13th, 14th & 15th
This festival is widely participated by the whole nation as they celebrate the lunar New Year. It is a three day celebration and expect to get very wet. The tradition of water at Songram time was a homage to the old days of the monks anointing the pilgrims on the head with water. Modern days it has become a wild fun filled festival with parades, religious ceremonies and festivals around the country.
The actual main day of celebration does seem to change depending on what part of the country you are in. Traditionally the north of the country is the first to set the party spirit in motion followed by Bangkok and then the south.
A day celebrated across the globe and is a national holiday in Thailand. Many businesses are closed including banks and government buildings.
The current monarch of Thailand, King Bhumibol is widely loved and adored.
His picture and colours are evident almost everywhere you go in the whole country. He was crowned in 1946 and is currently the longest serving monarch in the world.
Royal Ploughing Day
A day similar to Harvest Festival in many countries. The day is to celebrate the start of the rice planting season and to ask for good luck for the harvest.
This Buddhist holiday celebrates the three major events in the Buddha’s life; his birth, his enlightenment and his death.
Asalha Puja Day
A festival based on the lunar calendar and is held to celebrate Buddha’s first ever sermon. Many Thai’s will go to the temple and give merit on this day.
The Queen’s Birthday / Mother’s Day
Another celebration of the widely loved monarchy.The Queen’s birthday is also known simply as Mother’s day throughout the land.
This is a celebration to honour the death of the late king, Rama V. A famous and revered monarch who was famed in modernising Siam and bringing in government and social reforms.
The King’s Birthday / Father’s Day
The birthday of Thailand’s beloved king, King Bhumibol Adulyadej. I doubt if any nation love their king as much as in Thailand. The birthday celebrations are combined with visits to the temple.
A national holiday to celebrate when the country was first granted a constitution in 1932.
As you can see, there are a quite a number of official holidays in Thailand. If you are planning to move to this part of the world and conduct business it is important to have an understanding on the importance of each particular day.