Thailand travel guide




Thailand Travel Guide

Thailand Holidays

Thailand observes various days as public holidays, many of the festivals and events are traditional Buddhist or folk festivals and are determined by the lunar calendar, so dates change from year to year.

A short list of holidays in Thailand is as follows:

Holiday Name
January 01 New Year's Day (Wan Khuen Pee Mai)
January 11 Children's Day
January 16 Teacher Day
February Chinese New Year
February-March Magha Puja (Makha Bucha), Theravada Buddhist holiday
April 02 Long Live Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
April 06 Chakri Memorial Day (Wan Chakri), remember King Rama I
April 13-April 15 Thai New Year (Songkran Day)
May 01 National Labour Day (Wan Raeng Ngarn) - Bank holiday only
May 05 Coronation Day (Wan Chatr Mongkol)
May Vesak (Visakha Bucha Day), Theravada Buddhist holiday
May The Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Wan Puet Mongkol)
July Asalha Puja Day (Asanha Bucha), Theravada Buddhist holiday
July 01 Mid-year Day
July 28 The Crown Prince's Birthday
July Vassa (Khao Phansa Day), Theravada Buddhist holiday
August 12 Mother's Day (Wan Mae / Wan Khlai Wan Sadet Rachasompop Somdet Phra Baromrachininat), Commemorates the Queen's Birthday
October 23 Chulalongkorn Day (Wan Piyamaharat), commemorates King Chulalongkorn (Rama V)
October End of Buddhist Lent
November Loy Krathong Day
December 5 National Day and Father's Day, commemorates King's Birthday
December 10 Constitution Day (Wan Rattathammanoon)
December 25 Christmas Day
December 31 New Year's Eve (Wan Sin Pee)

Songkran Festival Nationwide

Songkran Festival Nationwide

This is the celebration of the traditional Thai New Year and usually falls around the April 13-17th. The Thai New Year is also observed in Laos (where is called “pi mai lao”), Cambodia, Myanmar and in Yunnan, China. Until 1888 the Thai New Year was the commencement of the year in the Kingdom of Thailand.

In a show of respect, Thais clean their homes, sprinkle water on the Buddha images and visit the temple for the ceremony of Rod Nam Dam Nua. This is the time for family reunions, many people travel back to their home community.

This celebration is marked with spiritual ceremonies as well as public festivities. This is predominantly popular in the tourist areas of Khao San Road in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival

It is an ancient tradition practiced throughout much of northeast Thailand and Laos. The celebration is in honor to a rain god named Vassakan (known for his interest of being worshipped with fire). It takes place in early May near the beginning of the rainy season.

The festival usually includes three days of music and dance shows, processions and at least one competitive firing of homemade rockets. An average rocket is some nine meters in length and carries 20-25 kilograms of gunpowder.

Loy Krathong and Candle Festival

Loy Krathong and Candle Festival

The festival of Loy Krathong is a time to offers gratitude to the Goddess of Water, Mae Nam. According to the tradition, Nang Nopamas, a royal consort of the Sukothai king Loethai, made the first kratong as a present to Mae Nam. Loy Krathong symbolizes a close bond between Thai society and water.

The festival takes place on the full moon night in the 12th lunar month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, when the water level is elevated and the temperature is cooler. Usually falls in November.

People will go down to their neighboring river or klong (canal) to float their krathongs, a lotus-shaped vessel traditionally made from banana leaves and carrying offerings of flowers, candles, burning incense, and small money.

By the end of the evening, there are a large number of shining lights bobbing up and down on the water. In addition, fireworks and beauty competitions take place during the celebration.

Pee Ta Khon (the Ghost Festival)

Pee Ta Khon (the Ghost Festival)
Held in Dan Sai, in the northeastern province of Loei, the event takes place over three days some time between March and July to make Buddhist merit and call for rain.

The origin of Phi Ta Khon Festival is based in a traditional Buddhist tale: when the penultimate incarnation of the Buddha, the prince Vessandorn, arrived to his city, the welcoming caravan was so delightful that savages and ghosts emerged and joined to celebrate.

Young men and teenagers are dressed up as sprits in robes of patchwork rags and wear masks. They dance joyously in the procession and make playful jokes at spectators.

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