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

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

Date Name Local name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day วันขึ้นปีใหม่ (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)a Magha Pujab วันมาฆบูชา (Wan Makhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha.
6 April 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).
13–15 April Songkran Festival วันสงกรานต์ (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 date Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmer's Dayc วันพืชมงคล (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)a Vesakb วันวิสาขบูชา (Wan Wisakhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. Also observed as National Tree Day.
28 July King Maha Vajiralongkorn's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระเจ้าอยู่หัวมหาวชิราลงกรณ 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)a Asalha Pujab วันอาสาฬหบูชา (Wan Asanhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)a Beginning of Vassabc วันเข้าพรรษา (Wan Khao Phansa) Buddhist observance marking the beginning of Vassa, also known as Buddhist Lent
12 August The Queen Sirikit's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ 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 October Anniversary for the Passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej วันคล้ายวันสวรรคตพระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช บรมนาถบพิตร (Wan Khlai Wan Sawankot Phra Bat Somdet Phra Paramin Maha Phumiphon Adunyadet Borommanat Bophit) Commemorates the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016.
23 October King Chulalongkorn Day วันปิยมหาราช (Wan Piyamaharat) Commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn in 1910.
5 December King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Birthday Anniversary วันคล้ายวันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาพระบาทสมเด็จพระปรมินทรมหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดช 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 December Constitution Day วันรัฐธรรมนูญ (Wan Ratthathammanun) Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.
31 December New Year's Eve วันสิ้นปี (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 Passing 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

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

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]

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.
4 January Cavalry and Armor Day วันทหารม้า (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 January National Aviation Day วันการบินแห่งชาติ (Wan Kanbin Haeng Chat)
14 January National Forest Conservation Day วันอนุรักษ์ทรัพยากรป่าไม้ของชาติ (Wan Anurak Sapphayakon Pamai 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 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 February Inventor's Day วันนักประดิษฐ์ (Wan Nakpradit) 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.
10 February Volunteer Defense's Day วันอาสารักษาดินแดน (Wan Asa Raksa Dindaen) Foundation day of Volunteer Defense Corps.
24 February National Artist Day วันศิลปินแห่งชาติ (Wan Sinlapin Haeng Chat) National Artists are honoured on this day, which commemorates King Rama II's birth.
25 February National Radio Day วันวิทยุกระจายเสียงแห่งชาติ (Wan Witthayu Krachai Siang Haeng Chat)
26 February National Cooperative Day วันสหกรณ์แห่งชาติ (Wan Sahakon Haeng Chat)
5 March Journalist's Day วันนักข่าว (Wan Nakkhao)
13 March National Elephant Day Day วันช้างไทย (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 March King Nangklao Memorial Day วันที่ระลึกพระบาทสมเด็จพระนั่งเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว (Wan Thi Raluek Phra Bat Somdet Phra Nang Klao Chao Yu Hua) Commemorates the birthday of King Rama III; observed since 1998.
1 April Civil Service Day วันข้าราชการพลเรือน (Wan Kharatchakan 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 Sirindhorn; observed since 1995.
9 April Royal Thai Air Force Day วันกองทัพอากาศไทย (Wan Kongthap Akat Thai) Foundation day of Royal Thai Air Force in 1937.
25 April King Naresuan Day วันสมเด็จพระนเรศวรมหาราช (Wan Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat) Naresuan died in 1605.
30 April Consumer Protection Day วันคุ้มครองผู้บริโภค (Wan Khumkhrong Phuboriphok) Observed since 1980.
1 May National 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 June Ananda Mahidol Day วันอานันทมหิดล (Wan Ananthamahidon) King Ananda Mahidol died in 1946.
26 June Sunthorn Phu Day วันสุนทรภู่ (Wan Sunthon Phu) Commemorates the birth of Sunthorn Phu in 1786.
1 July National Scout Organization Foundation Day วันสถาปนาลูกเสือแห่งชาติ (Wan Sathapana Luksuea Haeng Chat) King Vajiravudh founded the National Scout Organization of Thailand in 1911.
29 July National Thai Language Day วันภาษาไทยแห่งชาติ (Wan Phasa Thai Haeng Chat)
1 August Thai Women's Day วันสตรีไทย (Wan Satri Haeng Chat) Honors of Queen Sirikit.
16 August Thai Peace Day วันสันติภาพไทย (Wan Santiphap Thai) Memorial Day to the end of World War II.
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".
28 September Thai National Flag Day วันพระราชทานธงชาติไทย (Wan Phraratchathan Thongchat Thai) King Vajiravudh granted the flag of Thailand in 1917.
13 October National Police Day วันตำรวจ (Wan Tamruat)
21 October National Nurses' Day วันพยาบาลแห่งชาติ (Wan Phayaban Haeng Chat) Commemorates the birth of Srinagarindra the Princess Mother.
20 November Royal Thai Navy Day วันกองทัพเรือ (Wan Kongthap Ruea) Foundation day of Royal Thai Navy in 1906.
25 November King Vajiravudh Memorial Day วันที่ระลึกสมเด็จพระมหาธีรราชเจ้า (Wan Thi Raluek Somdet Phra Maha Thirarat Chao) Commemorates the passing of King Vajiravudh in 1925.
1 December Damrong Rajanubhab Day วันดำรงราชานุภาพ (Wan Damrongrachanuphap) Commemorates the passing of Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Observed since 2001.[9]
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 วันที่ระลึกสมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช (Wan Thi Raluek Somdet Phra Chao Tak Sin Maharat) Commemorates the accession of King Taksin in 1768.

Other observances

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

Date Observance Local name Remarks
1st day of the Chinese calendar (January,February) 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. Chinese New Year is observed as a public holiday in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces.
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 Atthamibucha) 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 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)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 Phrachan) Chinese festival
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/Wan Ok Phansab วันออกพรรษา 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 Yi Peng festival (ยี่เป็ง) in Chiangmai.
25 December Christmas วันคริสต์มาส Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Religious for Christians and widely observed commercially.
1 Shawwal in the Islamic calendar Eid ul-Fitr วันตรุษอีดิ้ลฟิตรี (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 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 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

References

  1. ^ พระราชบัญญัติคุ้มครองแรงงาน พ.ศ. 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, 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. ^ PCL., Post Publishing. "Two new holidays announced; May 5 dropped". http://www.bangkokpost.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.  External link in |work= (help)
  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. 
  9. ^ "Man of many talents". Prince Damrong. Ministry of Interior (Thailand). March 5, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
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