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Thai Public Holidays & Festivals

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Thailand has many festivals each year, some are just local festivals which maybe celebrated in a single province, a good example of this is the Ghost Festival in Loei, others are celebrated all over Thailand such as Songkran the Thai New Year, or Loy Krathong which is the festival at the end of the Buddhist lent, if you have any Thai Festival questions feel free to post them in our Thai Festivals Forum, or if your interested in the Thai Royal Family why not browse our Thai Royal Family Forum

One of the unusual aspects of Thailand and Asia is that on many holidays the sale of alcohol is banned, this means most bars and gogo bars will be closed, many shops will refuse to sell you beer or spirits, also during elections the sale of booze is prohibited.

The Thai word wan - วัน means day, you can learn more about the Thai language in our Learn Thai Forum.

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Thai National Holidays & Festivals

1st Jan - New Years Day on the Gregorian calendar.

Feb - Wan Makha Bucha Day (Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month (February)
To commemorate 1,250 monks from different places that spontaneously went to pay homage to the Buddha on the same day. (No alcohol day so bars generally closed)

6th April - Wan Chakri Day
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.

13th - 15th April Songkran
Songkran is Thailand's wildest holiday and held over 2 to 7 days depending where in Thailand you are, this is the water festival, an all out war with water pistols and buckets of water, some tourists love it, many expats hate it.

5 May - Wan Chattra Mongkhon Day (Coronation Day)
The Coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej took place on 5 May, 1950. His Majesty is the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty. On 5 May of every year, the Thai people rejoice in expressing their affection and loyalty to His Majesty by organising a celebration on Coronation Day.

May - Wan Phuetcha Mongkhon Day ((Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day)Date announced by the Royal Household Bureau)
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is to check whether the land will be fertile this year, whether the water will be abundant or whether the farmers' harvests will yield a rich output.

May - Wan Wisakha Bucha Day (Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month)(No Alcohol Day)
Visakha Bucha Day commemorates three important anniversaries in the life of the Lord Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. The Lord Buddha passed away exactly 80 years from the day of his birth.

July - Wan Asanha Bucha Day (Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month)(No Alcohol Day)
Asarnha Buscha Day celebrates Buddha’s first sermon to his initial five disciples. Asarnha Buscha also anticipates Kao Pansa, the three month period of Buddhist penitence and fasting also known as Buddhist Lent. Asanha Bucha Day in Bangkok

July - Wan Khao Phansa Day ((Buddhist Lent)First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month)
The start of Buddhist lent and the rainy season, this is also a time when young men become monks for the first time, one of the main things to see are the Wax Carvings which are extremely intricate.

First Weekend of August - Phuket annual event held in Kathu is the Kathu Culture Day, nice parades, some displays of old VWs and Vespa, if your in Phuket at this time why not take the time to visit Kathu.
12th August - HM the Queen's Birthday (Mothers Day)
In 1976, National Mother’s Day was officially changed from April 15th to August 12th, the day of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s Birthday. According to the book, “ The Royal Mother of All Thai Citizens” published on July 6, 1977 by the Ministry of Education.

23rd October - Chulalongkorn Day
King Chulalongkorn (or Piyamaharaj) Day is to commemorate the day on which King Chulalongkorn passed away. King Chulalongkorn the Great was he reformer king of the educational system, military affairs, National Communication, the State Railway and the Slave Liberation Act, without bloodshed in Thailand.

November - Loy Krathong Although not a public holiday
Loy Krathong is probably the nicest Thai festival with some great photo opportunities, the women dress in traditional costumes and Krathongs are floated out to sea or on rivers.

5th December Fathers Day (Many areas no alcohol day)
Coincides with His Majesty King Bhumibol’s birthday, the National Father’s Day has been scheduled to be held on 5 December in order to express our gratitude to the king who has devoted ceaseless efforts for the betterment of the Thai nation.

10th December - Constitution Day
Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.

28th December King Taksin Day (although it is not designated as a public holiday many shops etc maybe closed)
King Taksin Day is celebrated to mark the Coronation of “Phraya Vajiraprakarn” who was elevated to “Somdech Phraboromaracha IV” and is more commonly known as King Taksin.

31st December - New Year's Eve

Thai Regional Festivals

Thailand has literaly 100's of regional festivals and fairs throughout each year, probably the most memorable one is the Isaan Rocket Festival (Bang Fai) in May near the beginning of the rainy season, festivities include Morlam, fairs, cock fighting and of course homemade rockets, the most famous place for these rockets is of course Yasothon.

January Festivals

Phuket - Saphan Hin Food Fair
San Kamphaeng Umbrella Festival
Kamala Festival
Suphan Buri - Don Chedi Light and Sound Festival - 18th is Royal Thai Armed Forces Day

February Festivals

Phuket Old Town Festival
Phuket Blues Rock Festival

March Festivals

Thailand Elephant Day
Phetchaburi Kite Festival
Krabi Lanta Old Town Festival
Pattaya Music Festival

April Festivals

Phuket Bike Week
Laguna Phuket Turtle Release Fair

May Festivals

Pattaya Crocodile Farm - Crocodile Egg Eating Competition
Chanthaburi Durian Festival
Yasothon BangFai Festival
Yasothon Rocket Festival

June Festivals

Chaiyaphum - Siam Tulip Festival - Ends 31st August
Phuket Music Festival
Loei Ghost Festival
Phuket Prison Products Fair
Phuket Kathu Culture Road Fair
Hua Hin Jazz Festival

July Festivals

Ubon Ratchathani - Candle Festival
Phuket Ornamental Plants & Flowers Fair
Phuket butterfly release
Pattaya International Tattoo Festival
Phuket Race Week - Six Senses Sailing Race
Loei Ghost Festival

August Festivals

Phuket Hungry Ghost Ceremony
Bang Phra Annual Air Show
Bang Saen Seafood Festival

September Festivals

Phichit Long Boat Races
Phuket Por Tor Festival - Chinese Festival
Phetchabun Bathing Buddha Ceremony
Phuket Moon Festival - Chinese Festival
Pattaya Thai Rock Festival
Chiang Rai - Pomelo Festival
National Fisheries Day - 21st September

October Festivals

Pattaya Ladyboy Beauty Contest
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Chonburi Buffalo Races
Nong Khai - Naga Fireballs
Khao Chakan, Amphur Anniversary Parade and Festival - Sa Kaeo
Phuket Sea Gypsies 'Loy Ruea' Festival

November Festivals

Kanchanaburi Light & Sound Festival - Runs into December
Saraburi Sunflower Festival
Bang Saen Speed Festival
Pattaya Long Boat Races
Phuket Kings Cup Sailing Regatta - Ends in December
Lopburi Annual Monkey Feast
Hat Yai Lantern Festival
Surin Annual Elephant Round-Up

December Festivals

Hua Hin Vintage Car Rally
Saraburi & Khao Yai Dairy and Cowboy Festival
Pattaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
Pattaya Gay Festival
Miss Chiang Mai Pageant and the Red Cross Winter Fair
Phuket Laguna Triathlon