Events And Festivals
Every year, Thailand hosts numerous festivals and events. Some of these are unique to certain towns or provinces whilst others are celebrated nationwide. This is by no means a complete list because there are so many obscure local festivals, fairs and events to be found in Thailand.
Here is a list of Thailand Public Holidays & Festivals of calendar year 2012. There are national holidays, as well as some of the most important festivals and celebrations in Thailand. Many of Thailand holidays are based on Thai lunar calendar, thus it will have different dates from previous years.
The dates for these 2012 Thai Holidays are estimates. We do not and cannot guarantee accuracy of this Thailand holidays 2012 calendar.
THAILAND HOLIDAYS AND THAILAND FESTIVALS 2014
NEW YEAR’S DAY
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
The beginning of the western New Year is a national holiday in Thailand, one of three “new year” holidays celebrated every year.
January 1 is a public holiday in Thailand and the Thais happily join in the fun of the occasion, even though the traditional Thai New Year is in April. In fact, Thailand is probably the only country in the world where New Year is celebrated three times every year-January 1, the Chinese New Year in February and the Thai New Year or Songkran in April.
For New Year, a lot of Thais go back to their upcountry homes and spend the holidays with their families. In Bangkok, the hotels bring out the fairy lights and organize lots of fattening and inebriating events. Most hotels, bars and restaurants arrange special promotions, which are mostly expensive and need to be booked in advance. If you just go somewhere on spec, you might be disappointed. It pays to plan ahead for New Year.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Friday, 31 January 2014
The beginning of the Chinese lunar year is celebrated in the Chinatowns of every city throughout Thailand. Some businesses close for the day, but it is not a national holiday.
Makha Bucha celebrates the Buddha’s first sermon in to his disciples.
The Buddhist holiday of Sangha Day is called Makha Bucha Day in Thailand. It is observed in Thailand on the full moon of the third lunar month, which is usually the end of February or early March. In most other parts of Asia, Buddhist observe Sangha Day about a month later. Sangha Day commemorates a day when 1,250 monks, all from different places and on their on initiative, spontaneously came to pay homage to the historical Buddha.
Chakri Day commemorates the founding of the current dynasty by its first king, Rama I.
Chakri is a public holiday in Thailand. Thai kings are very respected by the people, and past kings are no exception. In commemorating Chakri Memorial Day, Thai national flag will be displayed prominently by Thai people. The king will lead a religious ceremony honoring the previous kings, particularly King Rama I the founder of the current monarchy.
Songkran Festival or known as Thailand Water Festival, is the most important festival for Thai people. Celebrated as the traditional Thai New Year, Thai people sprinkle water on the elders in show of respect and pay respect to Buddha images. Songkran Festival was previously calculated based on Thai lunar calendar, but in recent years is now fixed based on Western calendar. Songkran Festival falls on 13-15 April yearly, though the celebration usually starts before and ends days after the official holiday.
THAILAND LABOR DAY
Thursday, 1 May 2014
International Labor Day is also celebrated as a national holiday, even though there isn’t much ado about it. Some businesses may be closed.
Monday, 5 May 2014
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned as Rama IX, the 9th king of the Chakri dynasty, on 5th May 1950. The anniversary of this day has been observed as a public holiday ever since.
An ancient royal rite held in Thailand to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is held every year and its history dates back to the Sukhothai Period. The Annual Ploughing ceremony is held every year in May but there is no fixed date as such and keeps changing every year. The festival is held at Sanam Luuang near the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The ceremony has been very popular since time immemorial and is hailed as a very auspicious ceremony usually celebrating the planting season. The Royal Ploughing ceremony is a Brahmin festival and was practiced even before the birth of Lord Buddha.
The holiest Buddhist holiday celebrates the birth, enlightenment and entry into nirvana of the Buddha.
Vesak is an annual public holiday observed traditionally by practicing Buddhists in South Asian and South East Asian countries like Nepal, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Pakistan and India. Sometimes informally called “Buddha’s birthday,” it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment Nirvana, and passing (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.
ASALHA PUJA DAY
Friday, 11 July 2014
Commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares and the founding of the Buddhist sangha.
Asalha Puja commemorates the day when the Buddha’s first sermon was delivered to his first five disciples. It falls on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month, coming one day before the Buddhist Lent Day. Regarded as a significant day for all Buddhists, Asalha Puja marks the coming into existence of the Triple Gem, comprising the Buddha, his teachings, or Dhamma, and his disciples, or the Sangha. On that day, the Buddha’s first sermon was delivered to his first disciples.
BUDDHIST LENT DAY ( Wan Khao Phansa)
Saturday, 12 July 2014
This day marks the beginning of the Buddhist ‘lent’ period, a time when monks are supposed to retreat to their temples while new life springs forth. (Not a public holiday)
Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday is a national holiday, also serving as the country’s Mothers’ Day as well.
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s birthday on August 12 is a public holiday, celebrated nationwide as Mother’s Day. Individual people and organizations raise flags and portraits of Her Majesty in Bangkok and all over the kingdom. Born M.R. Sirikit Kitiyakara in 1932, Her Majesty the Queen has captured the hearts of the Thai people through her devotion to improving the welfare and well-being of her subjects. The Queen is perhaps best known for her efforts in reviving many of Thailand’s folk arts and crafts. On Her Majesty’s birthday, one of the best places to join in the celebrations is on Bangkok’s Ratchadamnoen Avenue and the areas around the Grand Palace, which are festooned with colorful lights, flowers and portraits for this special occasion.
Celebration of the death anniversary of Thailand’s one of the most revered kings, Rama V.
Most westerners will recognize King Chulalongkorn as the boy king depicted in the movie and musical The King and I. King Chulalongkorn is one of Thailand’s most revered and important kings. During his reign from 1868 to 1910 he brought many reforms to Thailand that helped to modernize the country.
While it is not marked a national holiday, it is an evening when Thais pay respect to the goddess of the waters by floating candlelit offerings on any and all waterways around the kingdom. (Not a public holiday)
Loy Kratong, the Candle Light Floating Festival, is one of the most colorful festivals in Thailand. It started in the Sukhothai period and is widely celebrated among people of all religions. The word Loy means “to float” and a Kratong is a lotus-shaped float made of banana leaves. The Kratong usually contains a candle, three incense sticks, some flowers and coins. Loy Krathong is a popular festival, with many locals and visitors is expected to join the observations.
December 5, 2012 marks His Majesty the King’s 86th year. It is also known as Thai Father’s Day in Thailand. On this very special occasion, the Thai people in Thailand and throughout the world will celebrate and wish His Majesty the King happiness and long life. His Majesty the King became King Rama IX of the Chakri dynasty on June 9, 1946. This year Thailand celebrates the sixty-fifth anniversary of His Majesty’s Accession to the throne.
Embracing the king as a most revered father, Thais also honor all fathers on the King’s birthday with the celebration of Thai Father’s Day.
Celebrates the date in 1932 when the country was granted its first constitution.
December 10 marks the Constitution Day which is held annually to commemorate the advent of the regime of Constitutional Monarchy in Thailand. Previously, the government of Thailand was an absolute monarchy until June 24, 1932 there was a transition to constitutional monarchy led by a group of young intellectuals educated abroad and inspired by the concept of western democratic procedures. The group which was known as “People’s Party or Khana Rasdr” was led by Luang Pradit Manudharm (Pridi Panomyong). To avoid bloodshed, King Rama VII graciously agreed to abolish absolute monarchy and handed over the country’s first “Permanent” Constitution. In fact, King Rama VII (King Prajadhipok) had prepared, even before being asked, to hand over his powers to the people.
NEW YEARS’ EVE
Tuesday, 31 December 2014
The day before the Western New Year day is always marked a national holiday.