Sat Thai

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Sat Thai
Official name วันสารทไทย (Wan Sat Thai)
Observed by Thailand, especially in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province
Type Originally an animistic harvest festival, with later incorporation of Buddhist traditions
Observances Traditional mid-year festival; merit-making for ancestors and deceased relatives
Date New moon of the tenth Thai lunar month
2014 date 24 September
2015 date 13 October
2016 date 1 October
2017 date 19 October

Sat Thai (Thai: สารทไทย, also spelled Sart Thai) is a traditional Thai mid-year festival, held on the new moon at the end of the tenth lunar month. It has many features of animism, attributing souls or spirits to animals, plants and other entities.


Sat (ศารท or สารท (สาท), RTGS 'Sat') comes from Pali sārada, which means autumnal.[1] It specifically refers to the season "when the grain is in the ear": rice grain panicles droop as seed reaches full size and fills with milky starch in the days before harvest time. Fruits also are in the bud.

Sat Thai is known as such to differentiate it from the Ghost Festival, known in Thai as Sat Chin.


Sat Thai Day occurs at the end of Thai lunar calendar Moon 10, that is, waning day 15, evening (วันแรม ๑๕ ค่ำ เดือน ๑๐). This is a New Moon and so is a Buddhist Sabbath; but not one of the Special Sabbaths, and not one of the secular public holidays in Thailand. It occurs midway past the traditional Thai New Year and near the autumnal equinox. It an occasion for making merit by honoring (บูชา buucha) the spirits of the season, as well as one's deceased relatives, according to local tradition, with various rites and ceremonies.

Beginning of the Vegetarian Festival[edit]

Main article: Vegetarian Festival

Sat Thai Day usually corresponds with the beginning of the nine-day Vegetarian Festival, which is widely observed by Thai Chinese and some Thais. It appears on calendars as "Begin 9-day vegetarian festival" (roem thet-sa-gan kin-che 9 wan, เริ่มเทศกาลกินเจ ๕ วัน) — kin-che (กินเจ) is to vow in the manner of Vietnamese or Chinese Buddhists to eat a strict vegetarian diet.) [2]


  1. ^ Turner: page 718, śāradá 12402
  2. ^ Online Royal Institute Dictionary

See also[edit]