Public holidays in Thailand

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Public holidays in Thailand are regulated by the government, and most are observed by both the public and private sectors. There are usually sixteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the cabinet. Other observances, both official and non-official, local and international, are observed to varying degrees throughout the country.

All public holidays are observed by government agencies, while the Bank of Thailand regulates bank holidays, which differ slightly from those observed by the government. Private businesses are required by the Labour Protection Act to observe at least 13 holidays per year, including National Labour Day, but may choose the other observances they follow.[1] If a holiday falls on a weekend, one following workday is observed by the government as a compensatory holiday.[2]

Public holidays[edit]

As of 2017, there are seventeen annual public holidays adopted by the cabinet:

DateNameLocal nameRemarks
1 JanuaryNew Year's Dayวันขึ้นปีใหม่ (Wan Khuen Pi Mai)Celebrates the start of the solar and Gregorian year. From 1889–1941, this was held on 1 April.
Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month (February)aMagha Pujabวันมาฆบูชา (Wan Makhabucha)Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha.
6 AprilChakri Memorial Dayวันจักรี (Wan Chakkri)Commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Phutthayotfa Chulalok in 1782. Officially known as King Phutthayotfa Chulalok the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day (วันพระบาทสมเด็จพระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราชและวันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์).
13–15 AprilSongkran Festivalวันสงกรานต์ (Wan Songkran)Traditional Thai new year, and the major holiday of the year. Many people return home for family reunions during this period. The first day is known as วันมหาสงกรานต์ (Wan Maha Songkran), the second as วันเนา (Wan Nao), and the third as วันเถลิงศก (Wan Thaloeng Sok). The 14th is also observed as Family Day.
May, arbitrary dateRoyal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmer's Daycวันพืชมงคล (Wan Phuetchamongkhon)Ceremony giving blessing to the country's farmers. Officially known as วันพระราชพิธีพืชมงคลจรดพระนังคัลแรกนาขวัญ (Wan Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuetcha Monkhon Lae Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan). Also observed as Farmer's Day. Each year's date is astrologically determined and announced by the Bureau of the Royal Household.
Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May)aVesakbวันวิสาขบูชา (Wan Wisakhabucha)Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. Also observed as National Tree Day.
28 JulyKing Maha Vajiralongkorn's Birthdayวันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ บดินทรเทพยวรางกูร (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua Maha Wachiralongkon Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun)Commemorates the birthday of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1952
Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)aAsalha Pujabวันอาสาฬหบูชา (Wan Asanhabucha)Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)aBeginning of Vassabcวันเข้าพรรษา (Wan Khao Phansa)Buddhist observance marking the beginning of Vassa, also known as Buddhist Lent
12 AugustThe Queen Sirikit's Birthdayวันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถในรัชกาลที่ ๙ (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borom Rachininat Nai Ratchakan Thi Kao)Commemorates the birthday of Queen Sirikit in 1932; also observed as National Mother's Day (วันแม่แห่งชาติ; Wan Mae Haeng Chat).
13 OctoberAnniversary for the Death of King Bhumibol Adulyadejวันคล้ายวันสวรรคตพระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช บรมนาถบพิตร (Wan Khlai Wan Sawankot Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramin Maha Phumiphon Adunyadet Borommanat Bophit)Commemorates the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016.
23 OctoberKing Chulalongkorn Dayวันปิยมหาราช (Wan Piyamaharat)Commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn in 1910.
5 DecemberKing Bhumibol Adulyadej's Birthday Anniversaryวันคล้ายวันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาพระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช บรมนาถบพิตร (Wan Khlai Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramin Maha Phumiphon Adunyadet Borommanat Bophit)Commemorates the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1927. Also observed as National Day and National Father's Day.
10 DecemberConstitution Dayวันรัฐธรรมนูญ (Wan Ratthathammanun)Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.
31 DecemberNew Year's Eveวันสิ้นปี (Wan Sin Pi)Final day of the solar year.
  • ^a Holidays regulated by the Thai lunar calendar—the usual Gregorian months in which the dates fall are indicated in parentheses. In lunar leap years, these take place one month later.
  • ^b Alcohol sales are prohibited on Buddhist holidays except in international airport duty-free shops.[3]
  • ^c Not observed by the Bank of Thailand and usually not observed by the private sector.

During 1957–2016, there were sixteen annual public holidays adopted by the cabinet.[4] With the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the list of annual public holidays for 2017 has been revised by the cabinet in April 2017.[5] Coronation Day, which was previously observed on 5 May, is removed.

New public holidays for 2017 are:

  • 28 July: King Maha Vajiralongkorn's Birthday
  • 13 October: Anniversary for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Chinese New Year, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are also observed as public holidays by government agencies in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces (see below under § Other observances).[6] Government offices under the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education may also observe the Thai Armed Forces Day and Teachers' Day, respectively (see § National observances below).

Bank holidays[edit]

Holidays observed by financial institutions (not to be confused with bank holidays in the United Kingdom) are regulated by the Bank of Thailand. These usually differ from government holidays in that banks do not observe the Royal Ploughing Ceremony day (Phuetchamongkhon) or the beginning of Vassa (Khao Phansa), but instead do observe 1 May as National Labour Day (see below under § National observances) and 1 July as the mid-year bank holiday. (Prior to 2007, the beginning of Vassa was observed as a holiday rather than Asalha Puja.) Chinese New Year, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are also designated as holidays for financial institutions in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces if they do not already fall on a weekend or holiday.[7]

National observances[edit]

These observances are regulated by the government, but are not observed as holidays. Actual observance varies, and some are only observed by specific sectors.[8]

DateObservanceLocal nameRemarks
2nd Saturday of JanuaryNational Children's Dayวันเด็กแห่งชาติ (Wan Dek Haeng Chat)Widely celebrated, especially by governmental agencies, with many activities for children. Observed on this day since 1965; was observed on the first Monday of October from 1955–1964.
4 JanuaryCavalry and Armor Dayวันทหารม้า (Wan Thahan Ma)The Thai people have seen the importance of bravery in Ban Phran Nok in Ayutthaya period of King Taksin the Great while still a Praya Wachiraprakan. Celebrates the role of the Cavalry Branch of the Royal Thai Army in Thai military history.
13 JanuaryNational Aviation Dayวันการบินแห่งชาติ (Wan Kanbin Haeng Chat)
14 JanuaryNational Forest Conservation Dayวันอนุรักษ์ทรัพยากรป่าไม้ของชาติ (Wan Anurak Sapphayakon Pamai Khong Chat)Observance promoting the conservation of the nation's forests and the work against deforestation.[9]
16 JanuaryTeachers' Dayวันครู (Wan Khru)Honours teachers countrywide. Schools may observe this day as a holiday, especially those under the authority of the Office of the Basic Education Commission. Observed since 1957.
18 JanuaryRoyal Thai Armed Forces Dayวันกองทัพไทย (Wan Kongthap Thai)Commemorates King Naresuan's victorious elephant duel against the Burmese Uparaja, calculated to be in 1593. Observed on this date since 2007 (on 25 Jan, before that).
2 FebruaryInventor's Dayวันนักประดิษฐ์ (Wan Nakpradit)Commemorates the patent registration of King Bhumibol's Chai Phatthana paddle wheel aerator in 1993. Observed since 1995.
3 FebruaryVeterans' Dayวันทหารผ่านศึก (Wan Thahan Phan Suek)Commemorates the founding of the War Veterans Organization of Thailand. Remembrance ceremonies are held at Victory Monument.
10 FebruaryVolunteer Defense's Dayวันอาสารักษาดินแดน (Wan Asa Raksa Dindaen)Foundation day of Volunteer Defense Corps.
24 FebruaryNational Artist Dayวันศิลปินแห่งชาติ (Wan Sinlapin Haeng Chat)National Artists are honoured on this day, which commemorates King Rama II's birth.
25 FebruaryNational Radio Dayวันวิทยุกระจายเสียงแห่งชาติ (Wan Witthayu Krachai Siang Haeng Chat)
26 FebruaryNational Cooperative Dayวันสหกรณ์แห่งชาติ (Wan Sahakon Haeng Chat)
5 MarchJournalist's Dayวันนักข่าว (Wan Nakkhao)
13 MarchNational Elephant Dayวันช้างไทย (Wan Chang Thai)On 26 May 1998, the Thai government declared that 13 March annually be Thai National Elephant Day or Chang Thai Day (Thai: วันช้างไทย). The observance was suggested by the Asian Elephant Foundation of Thailand and submitted to the Coordinating Subcommittee for the Conservation of Thai Elephants. The date was chosen because the Royal Forest Department designated the white elephant as the national animal of Thailand on 13 March 1963.
31 MarchKing Nangklao Memorial Dayวันที่ระลึกพระบาทสมเด็จพระนั่งเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว (Wan Thi Raluek Phra Bat Somdet Phra Nang Klao Chao Yu Hua)Commemorates the birthday of King Rama III; observed since 1998.
1 AprilCivil Service Dayวันข้าราชการพลเรือน (Wan Kharatchakan Phonlaruean)Commemorates the enactment of the first Civil Service Act in 1928; observed since 1979.
2 AprilThai Heritage Conservation Dayวันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย (Wan Anurak Moradok Thai)Commemorates the birthday of Princess Sirindhorn; observed since 1995.
9 AprilRoyal Thai Air Force Dayวันกองทัพอากาศไทย (Wan Kongthap Akat Thai)Foundation day of Royal Thai Air Force in 1937.
25 AprilKing Naresuan Dayวันสมเด็จพระนเรศวรมหาราช (Wan Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat)Naresuan died in 1605.
30 AprilConsumer Protection Dayวันคุ้มครองผู้บริโภค (Wan Khumkhrong Phuboriphok)Observed since 1980.
1 MayNational Labour Day[7]วันแรงงานแห่งชาติ (Wan Raeng-ngan Haeng Chat)Coincides with International Workers' Day. Observed as a holiday by the Bank of Thailand and the private sector.
9 JuneAnanda Mahidol Dayวันอานันทมหิดล (Wan Ananthamahidon)King Ananda Mahidol died in 1946.
26 JuneSunthorn Phu Dayวันสุนทรภู่ (Wan Sunthon Phu)Commemorates the birth of Sunthorn Phu in 1786.
1 JulyNational Scout Organization Foundation Dayวันสถาปนาลูกเสือแห่งชาติ (Wan Sathapana Luksuea Haeng Chat)King Vajiravudh founded the National Scout Organization of Thailand in 1911.
29 JulyNational Thai Language Dayวันภาษาไทยแห่งชาติ (Wan Phasa Thai Haeng Chat)
1 AugustThai Women's Dayวันสตรีไทย (Wan Satri Haeng Chat)Honors of Queen Sirikit.
16 AugustThai Peace Dayวันสันติภาพไทย (Wan Santiphap Thai)Memorial Day to the end of World War II.
18 AugustNational Science Dayวันวิทยาศาสตร์แห่งชาติ (Wan Witthayasat Haeng Chat)Commemorates King Mongkut's prediction and observation of a total solar eclipse in 1868.
20 SeptemberNational Youth Dayวันเยาวชนแห่งชาติ (Wan Yaowachon Haeng Chat)Commemorates the birth dates of Kings Chulalongkorn and Ananda Mahidol.
24 SeptemberMahidol Dayวันมหิดล (Wan Mahidon)Commemorates the passing of Prince Father Mahidol Adulyadej, the "Father of Thai Modern Medicine".
28 SeptemberThai National Flag Dayวันพระราชทานธงชาติไทย (Wan Phraratchathan Thongchat Thai)King Vajiravudh granted the flag of Thailand in 1917.
13 OctoberNational Police Dayวันตำรวจ (Wan Tamruat)
21 OctoberNational Nurses' Dayวันพยาบาลแห่งชาติ (Wan Phayaban Haeng Chat)Commemorates the birth of Srinagarindra the Princess Mother.
20 NovemberRoyal Thai Navy Dayวันกองทัพเรือ (Wan Kongthap Ruea)Foundation day of Royal Thai Navy in 1906.
25 NovemberKing Vajiravudh Memorial Dayวันที่ระลึกสมเด็จพระมหาธีรราชเจ้า (Wan Thi Raluek Somdet Phra Maha Thirarat Chao)Commemorates the passing of King Vajiravudh in 1925.
1 DecemberDamrong Rajanubhab Dayวันดำรงราชานุภาพ (Wan Damrongrachanuphap)Commemorates the passing of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Observed since 2001.[10]
4 DecemberThai Environment Dayวันสิ่งแวดล้อมไทย (Wan Singwaetlom Thai)Observed since 1991.
16 DecemberNational Sports Dayวันกีฬาแห่งชาติ (Wan Kila Haeng Chat)Commemorates King Bhumibol's gold medal in sailing at the 1967 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. Observed since 1986.
28 DecemberKing Taksin Memorial Dayวันที่ระลึกสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช (Wan Thi Raluek Somdet Phra Chao Tak Sin Maharat)Commemorates the accession of King Taksin in 1768.

Other observances[edit]

Other observances, traditional and modern, are observed by various groups and communities throughout the country.

DateObservanceLocal nameRemarks
1st day of the Chinese calendar (January,February)Chinese New Yearวันตรุษจีน (Wan Trut Chin)Observed by Thai Chinese and parts of the private sector. Usually celebrated for three days, starting on the day before the Chinese New Year's Eve. Chinese New Year is observed as a public holiday in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
2 FebruaryNational Agriculture Dayวันเกษตรแห่งชาติ (Wan Kaset Haeng Chat)
14 FebruaryValentine's Dayวันวาเลนไทน์Western holiday devoted to romance and love, imported in recent decades. A popular day for weddings.[11][12]
8th waning moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May–June)aAtthami Pujaวันอัฐมีบูชา (Wan Atthamibucha)Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's cremation.
5th day, 5th Chinese lunar monthDuanwu Festivalวันไหว้ขนมจ้าง (Wan Wai Khanom Chang)Chinese festival
1 JulyNational Scout Dayวันลูกเสือแห่งชาติ (Wan Luksuea Haeng Chat)Commemorates the founding of the National Scout Organization of Thailand by King Vajiravudh in 1911.
15th day, 7th Chinese lunar month (August)aGhost Festivalวันสารทจีน (Wan Sat Chin)Known as Sat Chin to differentiate from Sat Thai (see below).
15th day, 8th Chinese lunar month (September)aMoon Festivalวันไหว้พระจันทร์ (Wan Wai Phrachan)Chinese festival
New moon, 10th Thai lunar month (September–October)aSat Thai Dayวันสารทไทย (Wan Sat Thai)Traditional mid-year festival, now celebrated mostly in Nakhon Si Thammarat
1st–9th days, 9th Chinese lunar month (September–October)aVegetarian Festivalเทศกาลกินเจ (Thetsakan Kin Che)Usually corresponds with Sat Thai Day, depending on the differences between the Thai and Chinese lunar calendars.
Full moon, 11th Thai lunar month (October)aPavarana/Wan Ok PhansabวันออกพรรษาMarks the end of the three-month Vassa and the beginning of the Kathina period the following day.
Full moon, 12th Thai lunar month (November)aLoy Krathongวันลอยกระทง (Wan Loi Krathong)Observed as Yi Peng festival (ยี่เป็ง) in Chiangmai.
25 DecemberChristmasวันคริสต์มาสChristian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Religious for Christians and widely observed commercially.
1 Shawwal in the Islamic calendarEid ul-Fitrวันตรุษอีดิ้ลฟิตรี (วันรายอปอซอ)Muslim holiday celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Observed as a public holiday in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
10 Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendarEid al-Adhaวันตรุษอีดิ้ลอัฎฮา (วันรายอฮัจยี)Muslim holiday commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. Observed as a public holiday in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
  • ^a Observances regulated by the Thai or Chinese lunar calendars—the usual Gregorian months in which the dates fall are indicated in parentheses.
  • ^b Alcohol sales are prohibited on Buddhist holidays except in international airport duty-free shops.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ พระราชบัญญัติคุ้มครองแรงงาน พ.ศ. 2541 [Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541], 1998
  2. ^ บุษกร หวังวิไล. "กำหนดเวลาทำงานและวันหยุดราชการ: วันหยุดชดเชย (Designation of public workdays and holidays: compensatory holidays)". Secretariat of the Cabinet website (in Thai). Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b ประกาศสำนักนายกรัฐมนตรี เรื่อง กำหนดวันห้ามขายเครื่องดื่มแอลกอฮอล์ (ฉบับที่ 3) พ.ศ. 2558 [Proclamation of the Office of the Prime Minister regarding assignment of days with alcohol sales prohibition (number 3) B.E. 2558], 2015
  4. ^ "กำหนดเวลาทำงานและวันหยุดราชการ: วันหยุดราชการประจำปี (Designation of public workdays and holidays: annual public holidays)". Secretariat of the Cabinet website (in Thai). Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Two new holidays announced; May 5 dropped". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "การพิจารณากำหนดวันหยุดราชการประจำปี เพิ่มเติม (Designation of additional annual public holidays)". Secretariat of the Cabinet website (in Thai). Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "List of Legal Holidays to be Observed by the Bank of Thailand and Financial Institutions in Thailand During the Year 2016". Bank of Thailand website. Bank of Thailand. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Office of the National Culture Commission (August 2006). "วันสำคัญทางวัฒนธรรมและวันหยุดราชการปีพ.ศ. ๒๕๕๐ (ปีกุน)" [Cultural observances and public holidays, B.E. 2550 (year of the pig)] (in Thai). Office of the National Culture Commission. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009. 
  9. ^ "ค้นหาข้อมูลมติคณะรัฐมนตรี" [Search Cabinet Results] (in Thai). The Secretariat of the Cabinet. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  10. ^ "Man of many talents". Prince Damrong. Ministry of Interior (Thailand). 5 March 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "Thailand does Valentine's like nowhere else | Bangkok Post: learning". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2018-04-30. 
  12. ^ "Thailand in the mood for love as Valentine's Day fever sweeps the nation, SE Asia News & Top Stories". The Straits Times. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2018-04-30. 

External links[edit]