Public holidays in Thailand are regulated by the government, and most are observed by both the public and private sectors. There are usually 16 public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the cabinet. 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).
On average, workers in the first three groups are entitled to 14 holidays, while state-owned enterprise workers enjoy up to 15 holidays (or more). If a holiday falls on a weekend, one following workday is observed as a compensatory holiday. 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 to varying degrees throughout the country.
Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha. Alcohol sales prohibited. 2016 date: 22 February.
Chakri Memorial Day
วันจักรี (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). 2016 date: 6 April.
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. 2016 dates: 13–15 April.
Wan Ok Phansa signals the end of the Buddhist Lent period, a time when many Thai Buddhists abstain from eating meat, drinking alcohol, and smoking. Alcohol sales prohibited. 2015 date: 27 October; 2016 date: 16 October.
วันปิยมหาราช (Wan Piya Maharat)
Commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn in 1910. 2016 date: 23 October, observed on 24 October.
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.
Legal Holidays to be Observed by the Bank of Thailand and Financial Institutions in Thailand During the 2nd half 2015
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. Observed by governmental units in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces. 2016: First day of Chinese New Year is 8 February.
วันนักประดิษฐ์ (Wan Nak Pradit)
Commemorates the patent registration of King Bhumibol's Chai Phatthana paddle wheel aerator in 1993. Observed since 1995.
วันทหารผ่านศึก (Wan Thahan Phan Suek)
Commemorates the founding of the War Veterans Organization of Thailand. Remembrance ceremonies are held at Victory Monument.
Ceremonial blessing of 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.