Thailand Holidays and Festivals

**Remark**
=  Public Holiday in Thailand
=  Festival - but not a Public Holiday
=  Lunar Holiday or Festivals - dates change every year depending on the phases of the moon
Name Descriptions Type Weekday Date Substitution
New Year's Day The traditional start of the New Year as in much of the world. 2017 corresponds to the Thai year 2560 B.E. (of the Buddhist Era). This is one of the 3 New Years that Thai people celebrate (along with Chinese and Thai New Years), it’s a time for visiting family and friends. Sunday 01 Jan 2017 02-03 Jan 2017
Chinese New Year Chinese New YearThis is not a Public Holiday, but with so much Chinese ancestry in the local populace, particularly in some parts of Bangkok, Chinese New Year is celebrated in style. In 2017, the Year of the Rooster makes way for the Year of the Snake. Most of the country carries on as normal, but local family Chinese shops and businesses will close for the festivities. Lion dances, red money packets & firecrackers abound!    Saturday 28 Jan 2017
Makha Bucha Makha BuchaThe first of 3 Buddhist Lunar Holidays in the year, Makha Bucha celebrates 2 important events: firstly, 7 months after the Buddha began his teachings, the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 monks from many locations to meet and be ordained by the Buddha. Secondly, 45 years later, the Buddha’s sermon just before he died. Both events occurred on the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month. In Buddhist Pali language, the 3rd lunar month means 'Makha', and 'Bucha', means to honour. Makha Bucha Day is therefore celebrated to honour the Buddha and his teachings. At any and every temple in the country the local people gather in the early evening to ‘wien tien’ (walk round the Temple’s main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks), a beautiful sight to see.    Saturday 11 Feb 2017 13 Feb 2017
Chakri Day Chakri DayKing Thaksin named Thonburi as Thailand’s capital city after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. Just 15 years later, King Rama I established both the Chakri Dynasty, and founded Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital city in 1782. On the 6th April every year, Thai people commemorate both of these auspicious events. HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the tenth King of ruling Chakri Dynasty. Thursday 6 Apr 2017
Songkran – Thai New Year Songkran FestivalThai New Year is one of the 2 long annual holiday periods (along with Western New Year) when Thai people will make their way back to their homes & villages to celebrate with their families. For visitors, Songkran is widely known for its Water Festival. Coinciding with the hottest time of the year, the water splashing events provide a welcome relief from the heat. The water throwing goes on during daylight hours for the 3 full days of the holiday, but in Chiang Mai and other parts of the North, the festivities can go on for as much as 6 days. Thursday - Saturday 13-15 Apr 2017
Labour Day As in much of the world, a day in celebration of workers and unions. Other than a day off, there are no events of note in Thailand. Monday 01 May 2017
Coronation Day Coronation DayCommemorates the Coronation of King Bhumibol in 1950. Until his death in October 2016, King Bhumibol was the World’s longest reigning Monarch and Head of State, serving for 70 years and 126 days. Friday 05 May 2017
Visakha Bucha Visakha BuchaThe 2nd of the 3 important annual Buddhist Lunar Holidays, and the most important of the 3, Visakha Bucha commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, and it falls on the full moon Uposatha day, normally in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Thai people visit their local temple to ‘wien tien’, to walk round the main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks. Visitors are most welcome to join in & observe this lovely rite.    Wednesday 10 May 2017
Asalha Bucha Asalha BuchaThe 3rd of the important annual Buddhist Lunar Holidays, Asalha Bucha normally takes place in July, on the full moon of the 8th lunar month. This is the day when the Buddhist Triple Gem (the Lord Buddha, His Disciples, and His Teachings) came into existence. It commemorates Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Varanasi and the founding of the Buddhist monkhood, the Sangha. As with Makha and Visakha Bucha Days, the evening sees the ‘wien tien’ procession at every temple in the country. Local people walk round their temple’s main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks, a beautiful procession.    Saturday 8 Jul 2017 10 Jul 2017
Khao Phansa Khao PhansaThe start of Buddhist Lent (Khao Phansa) follows on the day after Asalha Bucha. It is not a Public Holiday. This day officially marks the start of the rains retreat, when monks stay in their temples and monasteries. Buddhist Lent lasts for 3 lunar months, from July to October. Sunday 9 Jul 2017
HM Queen’s Birthday HM Queen’s Birthday2017 marks the 85th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. She was married to His Majesty King Bumpihol for 66 years, and was the World’s longest serving Consort to a reigning Monarch. An evening ceremony with fireworks is held in Bangkok at the Sanam Luang, the Royal Parade ground adjacent to the Grand Palace, as well as in all provincial capitals across the country. Queen Sirikit’s Birthday is also celebrated as Mother’s Day in Thailand. Saturday 12 Aug 2017 14 Aug 2017
Chulalongkorn Day Chulalongkorn DayThe 23rd October commemorates the death of the revered King Rama V, King Chulalongkorn. Wreaths are laid at the Equestrian Statue at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok to pay homage to his memory. His reign brought Thailand into the modern era with extensive social and economic development. Monday 23 Oct 2017
Loy Krathong Festival Loy Krathong FestivalPerhaps the most charming of all of Thailand’s festivals, Loy Krathong takes place on the full moon evening in November. ‘Loy’ means to float, and a ‘krathong’ is a basket made from banana stem and leaves and is decorated with flowers, a candle and three incense sticks. During the evening, local people will go to their local canals, rivers or the sea to float their krathongs which they believe will bring them good luck in asking for forgiveness from the Goddess of Waters for the abuse she has suffered over the past year. People usually make a wish at the same time and some people believe that if the candle remains burning until the krathong is out of sight then their wish will come true. Lovers often float a krathong together. Northern Thailand has a different type of krathong, a hot air balloon called a ‘Khom Loy’, and these are now often found all over the country. The sight of thousands of khom loys rising into the sky and a river or the sea filled with flickering candles is truly magical. Firework displays and ‘Nong Noppamas’ beauty contests are also held.    Saturday 4 Nov 2017
HM King’s Birthday HM King’s BirthdayDecember the 5th will now be forever known as King Bhumibol’s birthday, reflecting the enormous affection, pride, love and respect the Thai people had for His late Majesty. Both Father’s Day and Thailand's National Day are also celebrated today. Tuesday 05 Dec 2017
Constitution Day Constitution DayCommemorates the establishment of Thailand’s first permanent constitution in 1932 and the change to a constitutional monarchy. Sunday 10 Dec 2017
New Year's Eve The Year End holidays are one of the longest breaks in the year for Thai people to be able to go home to visit friends and family, when Bangkok becomes delightfully deserted and free of traffic jams. Offices wind down during the last week of the year, and the holiday starts officially with New Year’s Eve. New Year countdown parties are arranged all over the Kingdom with firework displays at midnight. In Bangkok the best views are to be had down by the river, where all of the 5 star hotels on each side of the river try to outdo each other with lavish displays. Sunday 31 Dec 2017
Name Descriptions Type Weekday Date Substitution
New Year's Day The traditional start of the New Year as in much of the world. 2018 corresponds to the Thai year 2561 B.E. (of the Buddhist Era). This is one of the 3 New Years that Thai people celebrate (along with Chinese and Thai New Years), it’s a time for visiting family and friends. Monday 01 Jan 2018 02 Jan 2018
Chinese New Year Chinese New YearThis is not a Public Holiday, but with so much Chinese ancestry in the local populace, particularly in some parts of Bangkok, Chinese New Year is celebrated in style. In 2018, the Year of the Dog makes way for the Year of the Snake. Most of the country carries on as normal, but local family Chinese shops and businesses will close for the festivities. Lion dances, red money packets & firecrackers abound!    Friday 16 Feb 2018
Makha Bucha Makha BuchaThe first of 3 Buddhist Lunar Holidays in the year, Makha Bucha celebrates 2 important events: firstly, 7 months after the Buddha began his teachings, the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 monks from many locations to meet and be ordained by the Buddha. Secondly, 45 years later, the Buddha’s sermon just before he died. Both events occurred on the full moon day of the 3rd lunar month. In Buddhist Pali language, the 3rd lunar month means 'Makha', and 'Bucha', means to honour. Makha Bucha Day is therefore celebrated to honour the Buddha and his teachings. At any and every temple in the country the local people gather in the early evening to ‘wien tien’ (walk round the Temple’s main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks), a beautiful sight to see.    Friday 02 Mar 2018
Chakri Day Chakri DayKing Thaksin named Thonburi as Thailand’s capital city after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. Just 15 years later, King Rama I established both the Chakri Dynasty, and founded Bangkok as Thailand’s new capital city in 1782. On the 6th April every year, Thai people commemorate both of these auspicious events. HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn is the tenth King of ruling Chakri Dynasty. Friday 6 Apr 2018
Songkran – Thai New Year Songkran FestivalThai New Year is one of the 2 long annual holiday periods (along with Western New Year) when Thai people will make their way back to their homes & villages to celebrate with their families. For visitors, Songkran is widely known for its Water Festival. Coinciding with the hottest time of the year, the water splashing events provide a welcome relief from the heat. The water throwing goes on during daylight hours for the 3 full days of the holiday, but in Chiang Mai and other parts of the North, the festivities can go on for as much as 6 days. Friday - Sunday 13-15 Apr 2018 16-17 Apr 2018
Labour Day As in much of the world, a day in celebration of workers and unions. Other than a day off, there are no events of note in Thailand. Tuesday 01 May 2018
Coronation Day Coronation DayCommemorates the Coronation of King Bhumibol in 1950. Until his death in October 2016, King Bhumibol was the World’s longest reigning Monarch and Head of State, serving for 70 years and 126 days. Saturday 05 May 2018 07 May 2018
Visakha Bucha Visakha BuchaThe 2nd of the 3 important annual Buddhist Lunar Holidays, and the most important of the 3, Visakha Bucha commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, and it falls on the full moon Uposatha day, normally in the 5th or 6th lunar month. Thai people visit their local temple to ‘wien tien’, to walk round the main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks. Visitors are most welcome to join in & observe this lovely rite.    Tuesday 29 May 2018
Asalha Bucha Asalha BuchaThe 3rd of the important annual Buddhist Lunar Holidays, Asalha Bucha normally takes place in July, on the full moon of the 8th lunar month. This is the day when the Buddhist Triple Gem (the Lord Buddha, His Disciples, and His Teachings) came into existence. It commemorates Buddha’s first sermon in the Deer Park in Varanasi and the founding of the Buddhist monkhood, the Sangha. As with Makha and Visakha Bucha Days, the evening sees the ‘wien tien’ procession at every temple in the country. Local people walk round their temple’s main chapel 3 times with a candle, lotus flower and incense sticks, a beautiful procession.    Saturday 28 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018
Khao Phansa Khao PhansaThe start of Buddhist Lent (Khao Phansa) follows on the day after Asalha Bucha. It is not a Public Holiday. This day officially marks the start of the rains retreat, when monks stay in their temples and monasteries. Buddhist Lent lasts for 3 lunar months, from July to October. Sunday 29 Jul 2018
HM Queen’s Birthday HM Queen’s Birthday2018 marks the 86th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. She was married to His late Majesty King Bumpihol for 66 years, and was the World’s longest serving Consort to a reigning Monarch. Queen Sirikit’s Birthday is also celebrated as Mother’s Day in Thailand. Sunday 12 Aug 2018 13 Aug 2018
Chulalongkorn Day Chulalongkorn DayThe 23rd October commemorates the death of the revered King Rama V, King Chulalongkorn. Wreaths are laid at the Equestrian Statue at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok to pay homage to his memory. His reign brought Thailand into the modern era with extensive social and economic development. Tuesday 23 Oct 2018
Loy Krathong Festival Loy Krathong FestivalPerhaps the most charming of all of Thailand’s festivals, Loy Krathong takes place on the full moon evening in November. ‘Loy’ means to float, and a ‘krathong’ is a basket made from banana stem and leaves and is decorated with flowers, a candle and three incense sticks. During the evening, local people will go to their local canals, rivers or the sea to float their krathongs which they believe will bring them good luck in asking for forgiveness from the Goddess of Waters for the abuse she has suffered over the past year. People usually make a wish at the same time and some people believe that if the candle remains burning until the krathong is out of sight then their wish will come true. Lovers often float a krathong together. Northern Thailand has a different type of krathong, a hot air balloon called a ‘Khom Loy’, and these are now often found all over the country. The sight of thousands of khom loys rising into the sky and a river or the sea filled with flickering candles is truly magical. Firework displays and ‘Nong Noppamas’ beauty contests are also held.    Friday 23 Nov 2018
HM King’s Birthday HM King’s BirthdayDecember the 5th will now be forever known as King Bhumibol’s birthday, reflecting the enormous affection, pride, love and respect the Thai people had for His late Majesty. Both Father’s Day and Thailand's National Day are also celebrated today. Wednesday 05 Dec 2018
Constitution Day Constitution DayCommemorates the establishment of Thailand’s first permanent constitution in 1932 and the change to a constitutional monarchy. Monday 10 Dec 2018
New Year's Eve The Year End holidays are one of the longest breaks in the year for Thai people to be able to go home to visit friends and family, when Bangkok becomes delightfully deserted and free of traffic jams. Offices wind down during the last week of the year, and the holiday starts officially with New Year’s Eve. New Year countdown parties are arranged all over the Kingdom with firework displays at midnight. In Bangkok the best views are to be had down by the river, where all of the 5 star hotels on each side of the river try to outdo each other with lavish displays. Monday 31 Dec 2018

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