Festivals and public holidays
Here are the main holidays and festivals in Thailand, as they are celebrated by the majority of Thai people. We have organized the list month by month, so you can easily check what are the main celebrations in Thailand while you are visiting.
Important things to note:
Some holidays are celebrated according to the lunar calendar, so the date changes every year. This particularly applies to religious holidays and traditional festivals
As with most western cultures, if a public holiday happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, the next Monday is generally considered a day off in lieu.
Election days are also public holidays. The sale of alcohol is banned on election days and religious holidays, so entertainment venues are usually closed.
New Year’s Day – Jan 1st - Public holiday.
Like most western cultures, the Thai people also celebrate the new year in similar fashion. Although this has only been celebrated for around 70 years or so.
Wan Dek (Children’s Day) – Jan 13th
This is generally celebrated on the 2nd Saturday in January and is usually accompanied by events and celebrations put in place by local schools. The Thai people view their children as the future of the country and take this day to celebrate all children.
Wai Kru (Teachers’ Day) – Jan 16th
This is a chance to celebrate all teachers, as Thai's believe that for every role in society their is a great teacher. This is their chance to say thank you.
Valentine’s Day – Feb 14
Thai people also celebrate valentines day in very much the same way as western cultures. Cuddly toys and flowers are among the most given gifts.
Chinese New Year – Feb 16
Makha Bucha – Mar 1
Chakri Day – Apr 6
Songkran Festival – Apr 13-15
Labour Day – May 1st
Visakha Puja – May 29
Mid-year Holiday – Jul 1st
Asalah Puja – Jul 27
King’s birthday – Jul 28
Khao Phansa – Jul 28
Queen’s birthday – Aug 12
Chinese Ghost Festival – Aug 25
Commemoration of the passing of King Bhumibol – Oct 13
Chulalongkorn Day – Oct 23
Awk Phansa – Oct 24
Throughout the year there are numerous religious festivals that take place and Wan Ok Phansa is one of them. Wan Ok Phansa is considered to be the end of the Buddhist lent and will typically end in October at the full moon. During this time many Buddhists will abstain from things such as meat or alcohol. This festival is celebrated mainly in Laos and in the Isan region of Thailand, although many other Thai regions also celebrate this. By making food offerings, many Buddhists chose to honor the day when Buddha returned from Heaven.
This is a significant time for many Buddhists and it is a time for celebration. Most people will visit their local Wat (temple) and make merit. The main purpose of this is to participate in a prayer ceremony. This involves making an offering the the local monks and even helping out with basic chores such as cleaning and maintenance.
The celebrations can take many different forms from long boats being raced along the rivers, to the general festivities such as local dancing. This really depends on the area that you are in when this occurs.
Loy Krathong – Nov 23, 2018
Father’s Day – Dec 5
Constitution Day – Dec 10
Christmas – Dec 25
New Years’ Eve – Dec 31