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Bangkok <-185 km ->  Cha-Am    <-28 km -> Hua Hin

HOLIDAYS IN THAILAND

 

1 January (Tue) New Year's Day National Holiday
12 January (Sat) National Children's Day
16 January (Wed) Teacher's Day
10 February (Sun) Chinese New Year's
25 Feb (Mon) Makha Bucha (Puja) Day
6 April (Sat) Chakri Day National Holiday
8 April (Mon) Chakri Day Substitution
12 April (Friday) Songkran Substitution
13-15 April (Sat-Mon) Songkran National Holiday
16 April (Tue) Songkran Substitution
1 May (Tue) National Labor Day (Some places closed)
5 May (Sun) Coronation Day National Holiday
6 May (Mon) Coronation Day Substitution
13 May (Mon) Royal Ploughing Day (Government Only)
24 May (Fri) Visakha Bucha (Puja) Day National Holiday

2 July (Mon) Banking Holiday Only (Mid-year Audit)
22 July (Mon) Asarnha Bucha (Puja) Day National Holiday
23 July (Tue) Wan Khao Phansa Beginning of Buddhist Lent
12 August (Mon) H.M. The Queen's Birthday, Mother's Day National Holiday
24 September (Tue) Mahidol Day
19 October (Sat) Wan Awk Phansa End of Buddhist Lent
23 October (Wed) King Chulaongkorn Day National Holiday
16-18 November (Sat-Mon) Loy Krathong
5 December (Thu) H.M. The King's Birthday National Holiday
10 December (Tue) Constitution Day
31 December (Tue) New Year's Eve National Holiday

 

January

Don Chedi Monument Fair
Held at the Don Chedi memorial in Suphanburi Province, this event commemorates the victory of King Nuesuan of Ayuthaya over Burmese invaders in 1592. The highlight of the fair is dramatised elephant-back duelling.

New Year's Day
A rather recent public holiday in deference to the western calendar.

That Phanom Festival
An annual week-long homage to the North- East's most sacred Buddhist stupa (Wat Phra That Phanom) in Nakhon Phanom Province. Pilgrims from all over the country, as well as from Laos, attend.

February

Chinese New Year
Called trut jiin in Thai, Chinese populations all over Thailand celebrate their lunar new year (the date shifts from. year to year) with a week of house-cleaning, lion dances and fireworks. The most impressive festivities take place in the Chinese-dominated province capital of Nakhon Sawan.

Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Colourful floats and parades exhibit Chiang Mai's cultivated flora.

Magha Puja
(Makkha Buchaa) Held on the full moon of the third lunar in the to commemorate the preaching of the Buddha to 1250 enlightened monks who came to hear him 'without prior summons'. A public holiday throughout the country, it culminates with a candle-lit walk around the nudn chapel at every wat.

Phra Nakhon Khiri Diamond Festival
This is a week-long celebration of Phetchaburi's history and architecture focused on Phra Nakhon Kbiri Historical Park (also known as Khao Wang), a hill topped by a former royal palace overlooking the city. It features a sound- and-light show on Khao Wang; the temples are festooned with lights and presentations of Thai classical dance-drama.

 

March


ASEAN Barred Ground Dove Fair

This is a large dove-singing contest held 1St week of March in Yala that attracts dove- lovers from all over Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Bangkok International Jewellery Fair
Held in several large Bangkok hotels, this is Thailand's most important annual gem and jewellery trade show. It runs concurrently with the Department of Export Promotion's Gems & Jewellery Fair.

Phanom Rung Festival
A newly established festival to commemorate restoration work in the Phanom Rung Estorical Park, an impressive Angkor-style temple complex in Buffiain Province. It involves a daytime Procession up Phanom Rung Hill and spectacular sound-and-light shows at night. It takes place on the last week of the month - be prepared for very hot weather.

Phra Phutthabaat Festival
Annual Pilgrimage to Wat Phra Phutthabaat (Temple of the Holy Footprint) at Saraburi, 236km north-cast of Bangkok. It's quite an affair, with music, outdoor drama and many other festivities. if you're in the area, the shrine is worth visiting at any tinny during the year, even in the 'off season'.

April


The 6th Chakri Day
This is a public holiday commemorating the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, Rama 1. It's held on 6 April.

13th - 15th Songkhran Festival The New Year's celebration of the lunar year in Thailand. The Buddha images am 'THBed', monks and elders receive the respect of younger Thais by the sprinkling of water over their hands, and a lot of water is generously tossed about for fun. Songkhran generally gives everyone a chance to release their frustrations and literally cool off during the peak of the hot season. Hide out in your room or expect to be soaked; the latter is a lot more fun. Held 13 to 15 April.

May


Coronation Day Public holiday, 5 May. The king and queen preside at a ceremony at Wat Phra Kaew, commemorating their 1950 coronation.

Visakha Puja (Wisakha Buchaa) A public holiday that falls on the 15th day of the waxing moon in the sixth lunar month. This is considered the date of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and parinibbana, or pass- ing away. Activities are centred around the wat, with candle-lit processions, much chanting and sermonizing.

June


Royal Ploughing Ceremony
To kick off the official rice-planting season, the king participates in this ancient Brahman ritual at Sanam Luang (the large field across from Wat Phra Kaew) in Bangkok. Thousands of Thais gather to watch, and traffic in this part of the city comes to a standstill.

Bun Prawet Festival
One of the wildest in Thailand, an animist- Buddhist celebration held in Loci's Dan Sai district (nowadays also in other places around Loei Province) in which revellers dress in garish 'spirit' costumes, wear painted masks and brandish carved wooden phalli. The festival commemorates a Buddhist legend in which a host of spirits (phii) appeared to greet the Buddha-to-be upon his return to his home town, during his penultimate birth.

Rocket Festival
In the North-East, villagers craft large sky- rockets of bamboo that they then fire into the sky to bring rain for rice fields. This festival is best celebrated in the town of Yasothon. but is also good in Ubon Ratchathani and Nong Khai. It's known in Thai as Bun Bang Fai.

July

Asalha Puja
(Asanhaa Buchaa) Conunemorates the first sermon preached by the Buddha.

Candle Festival
Khao Phansaa is celebrated in the North-East by carving huge candies and parading them on floats in the streets. This festival is best celebrated in Ubon Ratchathani.

Khao Phansaa
A public holiday and the beginning of Buddhist 'lent', this is the traditional time of year for young men to enter-the monkbood for the rainy season and for all monks to station themselves in a monastery for the three months. It's a good time to observe a Buddhist ordination.

August

 

Queen's Birthday
Public holiday. In Bangkok, Th Ratchadamnoen Klang and the Grand Palace are festooned with coloured lights. Celebrated on 12 August.

September

Thailand International Swan-Boat Races
These take place on the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok near the Rama IX Bridge.

Narathiwat Fair
An annual week-long festival celebrating local culture in Narathiwat Province with boat races, dove-singing contests, handicraft displays, traditional Southern Thai music and dance. The king and queen almost always attend.

October

Vegetarian Festival
A nine day celebration in Trang and Phuket during which devout Chinese Buddhists cat only vegetarian food. There are various cere- monies at Chinese temples and inter-making processions that bring to mind ffindu Thai- pusam in its exhibition of self-nior6fication. Smaller towns in the South such as Krabi and Phang-Nga also celebrate the veggic fest on a smaller scale.

 

Chulalongkorn Day
A public holiday in commemoration of King Chulalongkom (Rania V). Held on 23 October.

Thawt Kathin
A month at the end of the Buddhist lent during which new monastic robes and requisites are offered to the Sangha. In Nan Province long- boat races are held on the Nan River.

November

 

Loi Krathong
On the proper full-moon night, small lotus- shaped baskets or boats made of banana leaves containing flowers, incense, candles and a coin are floated on Thai rivers, lakes and canals. This is a peculiarly Thai festival that probably originated in Sukhothai and is best celebrated in the North. In Chiang Mai, where the festival is called Yi Peng, residents also launch hot-air paper balloons into the sky. At the Sukhothai lfistorical Park there is an impressive sound-and-light show.

Surin Annual Elephant Roundup
Held in the third weekend in November, Thailand's biggest elephant show is pretty tourist these days. If you have ever had the desire to see a lot of elephants in one place, then here's your chance.

December

River Khwae Bridge Week
Sound-and-light shows every night at the Death Railway Bridge in Kanchanaburi. It in- cludes historical exhibitions and vintage train rides on the infamous railway.

Constitution Day
10 December - public holiday.

King's Birthday
This is a public holiday that is celebrated with some fervor in Bangkok. As with the queen's birthday, it features lots of lights and other decorations along Th Ratchadamnoen Klang. Some people erect temporary shrines to the king outside their homes or businesses. Celebrated on 5 December