Public Holidays in Thailand 2023

1 January (Sunday) – New Year's Day

22 January (Sunday)  –  Chinese New Year*

6 March (Monday) – Makha Bucha Day

6 April (Thursday) – Chakri Memorial Day

13 - 16 April (Thursday to Sunday) – Songkran Festival

1 May (Monday) – Labour Day*

4 May (Thursday) – King's Coronation Day

11 May (Monday)  –  Royal Ploughing Ceremony*

3 June (Saturday) – Visakha Bucha Day

3 June (Saturday) – Queen Suitida Patchara Suthaphimollaksanaram's Birthday

28 July (Friday) – King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday

1 August (Tuesday) – Asanha Bucha Day

2 August (Wednesday)  –  Khao Phansa Day*

12 August (Saturday) – Queen Mother Sirikit's Birthday/National Mother's Day

13 October (Friday) –  Anniversary of King Bhumibol's death

23 October (Monday) –  Chulalongkorn Day

5 December (Tuesday) –  King Bhumibol's birthday

10 December (Sunday) – Constitution Day

25 December (Monday)  –  Christmas Day* 

31 December – New Year's Eve

*Chinese New Year and Christmas Day are observed in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun provinces only 

*Labour Day is observed by all sectors except the Government sector 

* Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Khao Phansa Day are observed by the Government sector only 

 

Meaning of each holiday

6 March – Makha Bucha Day

This holiday commemorates the sermon that Buddha gave nine months after reaching "enlightenment". During this time, 1,250 Buddhist monks congregated to hear the principles of Buddhism. The Thais celebrate Magha Puja by offering and preparing food and flowers to monks throughout the day. They will also visit temples and listen to preaching by monks. 

 

6 April – Chakri Memorial Day

This day is celebrated by Thai people all over the globe as it is a special occasion that signifies their very own Royal Foundation. The Chakri Dynasty dates back to more than two centuries when the capital city Bangkok was initially established.

 

13 - 16 April – Songkran Day

Songkran, also known as the water celebration, signifies renewal and the washing away of bad luck and sins. Thai people observe this holiday by having family reunions, spending time with friends, visiting temples and spring cleaning their houses. 

Traditionally, young people would pour fragrant water into the elders’ palms as a gesture of humility and ask for their blessings. Although Songkran is officially observed for three days, celebrations usually last one week! Songkran has recently taken on a festival vibe and both residents and tourists can be seen having water fights with buckets, garden hoses and water guns. 

 

4 May – King's Coronation Day

On this day, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn (King Rama X) was crowned King in elaborate ceremonies held in line with ancient traditions. 

 

11 May Royal Ploughing Ceremony 

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day or as it's officiall name 'Wan Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuet Monkhon Lae Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan,' however the festival is popularly known simply as 'Farmer's Day' (Wan Phuet Mongkhon).

 

3 June – Visakha Bucha Day

This day commemorates three major events in the life of Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment, and his death. Devout Buddhists in Thailand visit local temples to “make merit” on this day. They do this by giving donations and engaging in various rituals. In addition, they listen to sermons on Buddha’s teachings, meditate and offer food to temple workers. 

 

3 June – Queen Suitida Patchara Suthaphimollaksanaram's Birthday

The Queen's Birthday is celebrated on June 3rd since 2019. If June 3rd falls on a weekend, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday. This holiday marks the birthday of the current queen of Thailand, Queen Suthida.

 

28 July – King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday

This holiday commemorates the birthday of the King of Thailand, Vajiralongkorn, who was born on this day in 1952.

 

1 August  – Asanha Bucha 

Asanha Bucha Day is a Buddhist holiday unique to Thailand. It marks the day when the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at Benares in India over 2,500 years ago. It is usually held in July or August each year. 

 

12 August – Queen Mother Sirikit's Birthday/National Mother's Day

Every August, Thai households and public places will be decorated with lights, decorations, and portraits of the most beloved Queen Sirikit in celebration of her birthday. As the Queen is seen as the mother of Thailand, her birthday also coincides with Mother’s Day.

 

13 October –  Anniversary of King Bhumibol's death

Since 2017, this holiday commemorates the death of the late King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016.

 

23 October –  Chulalongkorn Day

It is the memorial day of the passing away of King Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V. King Chulalongkorn.

 

5 December –  King Bhumibol's birthday

The birthday of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s is one of the most important public holidays in Thailand. This holiday had long been celebrated as the King’s Birthday, as well as being marked as Father’s Day.

 

10 December – Constitution Day

This day signifies Thailand’s first permanent constitution in 1932. As the holiday is close to the late King’s Birthday in early December, it is common for Thai people to take a few days off work to create their own long holiday. 

 

School Holidays - by state/region/by private/public

School holidays in Thailand depend on the type and location of the school. Public and private schools have different school holidays. Generally, private or international schools have a five-week summer break in July and August. 

 

Thailand School Year Calendar and term dates 

Generally, the Thailand school year begins in May and ends in March. There are two Thailand school terms. There are holidays in March and April as well as a break in October. Normal school hours in Thailand are 8:30am to 3:30pm. 

 

References

  1. https://www.efe.com/efe/english/life/buddhists-celebrate-magha-puja-in-southeast-asia/50000263-2846586
  2. https://www.thaicongenvancouver.org/Chakri-Day.htm
  3. https://www.hotels.com/go/thailand/songkran
  4. https://thethaiger.com/news/national/today-is-asanha-bucha-day-why-is-the-day-special-for-thai-buddhists
  5. https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/thailand/hm-kings-birthday
  6. https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/thailand/king-bhumibols-passing
  7. https://www.thaiembassy.sg/friends-of-thailand/p/king-chulalongkorn-day
  8. https://www.expique.com/article/fathers-day-kings-birthday-thailand/
  9. https://www.officeholidays.com/holidays/thailand/royal-ploughing-ceremony