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. Note that the actual number of holidays for the individual is determined by the nature of the organization for which they work i.e. public, private, institutions governed by the Bank of Thailand or state-owned enterprises (excluding financial institutions).[1]

On average, workers for the first three groups are entitled to fourteen holidays while state-owned enterprise workers enjoy up to fifteen holidays (or more). If a holiday falls on a weekend, one following workday is observed as a compensatory non-workday.[1] The Bank of Thailand regulates bank holidays, which differ slightly from those observed by the government. Other observances, both official and non-official, local and international, are observed in varying degrees throughout the country..

Public holidays[2][edit]

Date Name Local name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day วันขึ้นปีใหม่ (Wan Khuen Pi Mai) Celebrates beginning of the solar and Gregorian year. From 1889–1941, this was held on 1 April.
Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month (February)b Magha Puja วันมาฆบูชา (Wan Makha Bucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha.
1st day of the Chinese calendar (February)a Chinese New Year วันตรุษจีน (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.
6 April Chakri Memorial Day วันจักรี (Wan Chakkri) Commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke in 1782. Officially known as King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day (วันพระบาทสมเด็จพระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราชและวันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์).
13 April – 15 April Songkran Festival วันสงกรานต์ (Wan Songkran) Traditional Thai new year, and prime 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.
1 May Labour Day วันแรงงานแห่งชาติ (Wan Raeng Ngan Haeng Chat) Coincides with International Workers' Day. Observed as a holiday by most of the private sector.
5 May Coronation Day วันฉัตรมงคล (Wan Chattra Mongkhon) Commemorates the coronation of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1950.
May, arbitrary date Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmer's Day วันพืชมงคล (Wan Phuetcha Mongkhon)a 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 House Hold.
Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May)b Vesak วันวิสาขบูชา (Wan Wisakha Bucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. Also observed as National Tree Day.
Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)b Asalha Puja วันอาสาฬหบูชา (Wan Asanha Bucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)b Beginning of Vassa วันเข้าพรรษา (Wan Khao Phansa)a Buddhist observance marking the beginning of Vassa, also known as Buddhist Lent
12 August HM the Queen's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าฯ พระบรมราชินีนาถ (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Boromma Rachini Nat) Commemorates the birthday of Queen Sirikit in 1932; also observed as National Mother's Day (วันแม่แห่งชาติ; Wan Mae Haeng Chat).
23 October Chulalongkorn Day วันปิยมหาราช (Wan Piya Maharat) Commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn in 1910.
5 December HM the King's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาพระบาทสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัว (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Phra Bat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua) Commemorates the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1927. Also observed as National Day and National Father's Day.
10 December Constitution Day วันรัฐธรรมนูญ (Wan Rattha Thammanun) Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.
31 December New Year's Eve วันสิ้นปี (Wan Sin Pi) Final day of the Gregorian year.
1 Shawwal in the Islamic calendar Eid ul-Fitr วันตรุษอีดิ้ลฟิตรี (วันรายอปอซอ) Muslim holiday celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Observed by government units in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
10 Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic calendar Eid al-Adha วันตรุษอีดิ้ลอัฎฮา (วันรายอฮัจยี) Muslim holiday commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to Allah. Observed by government units in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
25 December Christmas Day วันคริสต์มาส Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Religious for Christians and widely observed commercially.
  • Government offices under the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education may also observe the Thai Armed Forces Day and Teachers' Day, respectively (see below).
  • ^a Not observed by the private sector.
  • ^b 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.

Bank holidays[edit]

Bank holidays (those 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 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.) Eid ul-Fitr is also designated as a holiday for financial institutions in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala, and Satun Provinces if it does not already fall on a weekend or holiday.[3]

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.

Date Observance Local name Remarks
2nd Saturday of January National Children's Day วันเด็กแห่งชาติ (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.
14 January National Forest Conservation Day วันอนุรักษ์ทรัพยากรป่าไม้ของชาติ (Wan Anurak Sappayakon Pa Mai Khong Chat) Observance promoting the conservation of the nation's forests and the work against deforestation.
16 January Teachers' Day วันครู (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 January Royal Thai Armed Forces Day วันกองทัพไทย (Wan Kong Thap 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 February Inventor's Day วันนักประดิษฐ์ (Wan Nak Pradit) Commemorates the patent registration of King Bhumibol's Chai Phatthana paddle wheel aerator in 1993. Observed since 1995.
3 February Veterans' Day วันทหารผ่านศึก (Wan Thahan Phan Suek) Commemorates the founding of the War Veterans Organization of Thailand. Remembrance ceremonies are held at Victory Monument.
24 February National Artist Day วันศิลปินแห่งชาติ (Wan Sinlapin Haeng Chat) National Artists are honoured on this day, which commemorates King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai's birth.
31 March King Nangklao Memorial Day วันที่ระลึกพระบาทสมเด็จพระนั่งเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัวฯ (Wan Thi Raluek Phra Bat Somdet Phra Nangklao Chao Yuhua) Commemorates the birthday of King Nangklao; observed since 1998.
1 April Civil Service Day วันข้าราชการพลเรือน (Wan Kha Ratchakan Phonlaruean) Commemorates the enactment of the first Civil Service Act in 1928; observed since 1979.
2 April Thai Heritage Conservation Day วันอนุรักษ์มรดกไทย (Wan Anurak Moradok Thai) Commemorates the birthday of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn; observed since 1995.
30 April Consumer Protection Day วันคุ้มครองผู้บริโภค (Wan Khumkhrong Phu Borophok) Observed since 1980.
26 June Sunthorn Phu Day วันสุนทรภู่ (Wan Sunthon Phu) Commemorates the birth of Sunthorn Phu in 1786.
29 July National Thai Language Day วันภาษาไทยแห่งชาติ (Wan Phasa Thai Haeng Chat)
18 August National Science Day วันวิทยาศาสตร์แห่งชาติ (Wan Witthayasat Haeng Chat) Commemorates King Mongkut's prediction and observation of a total solar eclipse in 1868.
20 September National Youth Day วันเยาวชนแห่งชาติ (Wan Yaowachon Haeng Chat) Commemorates the birth dates of Kings Chulalongkorn and Ananda Mahidol.
24 September Mahidol Day วันมหิดล (Wan Mahidon) Commemorates the passing of Prince Father Mahidol Adulyadej, the "Father of Thai Modern Medicine".
13 October National Police Day วันตำรวจ (Wan Tamruat)
21 October National Nurses' Day วันพยาบาลแห่งชาติ (Wan Phayaban Haeng Chat) Commemorates the birth of Princess Srinagarindra the Princess Mother.
25 November Vajiravudh Day วันวชิราวุธ (Wan Wachirawut) Commemorates the passing of King Vajiravudh in 1925.
1 December Damrong Rajanubhab Day วันดำรงราชานุภาพ (Wan Damrong Rachanuphap) Commemorates the passing of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Observed since 2001.[4]
4 December Thai Environment Day วันสิ่งแวดล้อมไทย (Wan Singwaetlom Thai) Observed since 1991.
16 December National Sports Day วันกีฬาแห่งชาติ (Wan Kila Haeng Chat) Commemorates King Bhumibol's gold medal in sailing at the 1967 Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. Observed since 1986.
28 December King Taksin Memorial Day วันสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช (Wan Somdet Phra Chao Taksin 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.

Date Observance Local name Remarks
2 February National Agriculture Day วันเกษตรแห่งชาติ (Wan Kaset Haeng Chat)
14 February Valentine's Day วันวาเลนไทน์
8th waning moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May–June)a Atthami Puja วันอัฐมีบูชา (Wan Atthami Bucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's cremation.
5th day, 5th Chinese lunar month Duanwu Festival วันไหว้ขนมจ้าง (Wan Wai Khanom Chang) Chinese festival
1 July National Scout Day วันลูกเสือแห่งชาติ (Wan Luk Suea Haeng Chat) Commemorates the founding of scouting in Thailand by King Vajiravudh in 1911.
15th day, 7th Chinese lunar month (August)a Ghost Festival วันสารทจีน (Wan Sat Chin) Known as Sat Chin to differentiate from Sat Thai (see below).
15th day, 8th Chinese lunar month (September)a Moon Festival วันไหว้พระจันทร์ (Wan Wai Phra Chan) Chinese festival
16 August Defeat of Japan Freedom Day Largely ignored except by Seri Thai and friends
New moon, 10th Thai lunar month (September–October)a Sat Thai Day วันสารทไทย (Wan Sat Thai) Traditional mid-year festival, now celebrated mostly in Nakhon Si Thammarat
1st–9th days, 9th Chinese lunar month (September–October)a Vegetarian Festival เทศกาลกินเจ (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)a Pavarana วันออกพรรษา (Wan Ok Phansa) Marks the end of the three-month Vassa and the beginning of the Kathina period the following day.
Full moon, 12th Thai lunar month (November)a Loy Krathong วันลอยกระทง (Wan Loi Krathong) Observed as Yee Peng Lantern Festival (ญี่เปง) in Chiangmai; it is the 2nd lunar month, Duean Yi (เดือนญี่), of the old Lanna Kingdom calendar.
  • ^a Months in which the dates usually fall.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b บุษกร หวังวิไล. "กำหนดเวลาทำงานและวันหยุดราชการ: วันหยุดชดเชย (Designation of public workdays and holidays: compensatory holidays)". Secretariat of the Cabinet website (in Thai). Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "กำหนดเวลาทำงานและวันหยุดราชการ: วันหยุดราชการประจำปี (Designation of public workdays and holidays: annual public holidays)". Secretariat of the Cabinet website (in Thai). Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "List of Legal Holidays to be Observed by the Bank of Thailand". Financial Institutions > Financial Institutions Holidays. Bank of Thailand. March 3, 2003. Archived from the original on 16 April 2012. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Man of many talents". Prince Damrong. Ministry of Interior (Thailand). March 5, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2013.