Thai Holidays, Loy Krathong Festival, , Songran Festival, New Years, Chinese New Years, Phi Ta Khon Festival, Makha Bucha Day, Naga Festival, Candle Festival, Nakhon Phanom Illuminated Boat Procession Festival, Sakon Nakhon Wax Festival
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* 1 January New Year's Day
In Thailand there are three New Year's days. The Western, on Jan 1st, the Chinese New Year on the first day of the First Lunar month, usually in February and the Thai New Year marked by the Songkhran festival in April. Thais usually exchange gifts on January 1st.
7 February Chinese New Year's Day
Chinese New year depends on the lunar calendar. It is on the second new moon day following Winter solstice, a day around December 22 in the nothern hemisphere. Chinese celebrate their lunar new year with one week house-cleaning, lion dances and fireworks. This is also the time to pay respect to the ancestors. We invite our volunteers to take part in the celebrations for our family.
* 21 Febuary Makha Bucha Day / Magha Puja Day
This is in commemoration of a spontaneous gathering of 1,250 Sangha followers came to meet Lord Buddha 9 months after his first enlightenment. They were ordinated by Lord Buddha and enlightened. Celebrated with candle light processions three times clockwise around the temple, usually in the evening. It is also a day when many people give alms like instant or canned foods and necessities like robes, incense and candles to the monks. The date changes from year to year. It is always on full moon day of the 3rd lunar month, Makha.
* 6 April Chakri Memorial Day
Crowning day of King Rama I., March 20, 1737 - September 7, 1809, the first king of the Chakri dynasty. He moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok, retrieved Buddhist texts that were lost during the occupation of former capital Ayathaya by the Burmese, and wrote the Book of three seals, a new law codex.
* 7 April substitution for Chakri Memorial Day
13 April Therevadin Buddhist New Year
* 13 - 16 April Songkran Festival
Thais celebrate the lunar new year with a lot of water. Buddha statues are cleaned, you sprinkle water over the hands of monks and elders to show your respect - and everybody is having a lot of fun with tossing water around. If you attend don't expect to stay dry.
* 1 May National Labour Day
* 5 May Coronation Day
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned on 5 May 1950.
Phi Ta Khon Festival
Men masqueraded as spirits parade a Buddha image and tease bystanders while monks recite the ancient Buddhist tale of Prince Vessandorn, one of Buddha's incarnations. His welcome back procession was grand enough to inspire the spirits to join the festvities.
Celebrated in Loei.
* 9 May Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony marks the beginning of the planting season at the start of the rainy period when rice is sown. The annual ceremony usually happens in May but the date is not fixed because it is determined each year by the royal astrologers. The ceremony is held in Bangkok near the Grand Palace. The ceremony involves the blessing of the rice grains at the Temple of the Emerald buddha. Brahmin priests oversee the ploughing of the ceremonial rice beds and the planting of the rice. At the conslusion of the ceremony the priests predict the season's rainfall and yield based on the length of the cloth selected from among three options. After ploughing is completed, onlookers run into the fields to gather up rice seeds believed to be a token of good fortunre. they mix these with their own rice seeds to ensure a good harvest.
* 19 May Visakha Bucha Day / Visakha Puja / Buddha Day
Also spelled Vesak, Wesak or Vaisakha and it is the name of this month in the Indian calendar. Celebration of Lord Buddhas birthday, enlightenment and death (attainment of Nirvana).
* 17 July Asarnha Bucha Day / Asalha Puja Day
Celebration to remind of the first sermon Lord Buddha gave to five disciples, introducing the middle way, the noble eight-fold path and the four noble truth. Celebrated with candle light processions.
* 18 July Buddhist Lent Day
This marks the beginning of the Buddhist rain retreat which last three months. During this period monks are not allowed to sleep outside their temple. If they have to stay outside it should be limited to maximum of three days. Thai people buy big candles and offer them to temples.
29 July Candle Festival
* 12 August H.M. The Queen's Birthday
This day also doubles as Mothers Day.
14 October Ok Phansa & Thot Kathin
The End of Buddhist Lent - This day is the end of the Buddhist Lent that lasts three month every year (see also 22 July). Buddhists will make merit and offer food and other necessary goods to the monks. Time for the robe offering ceremonies ("thot kathin"). These ceremonies are performed during one month. Also the Nakhon Phanom Illuminated Boat Procession Festival should not be missed as well as the Sakon Nakhon Wax Fextival.
Many activities originated on this day and have been passed on to the present generation such as the wax castle offering and illuminated boat procession to worship the Naga king.
14 October Naga Festival
Bang Fai Phaya Naga is said to be a natural phenomenon. Fireballs can be seen rising up from the Maekhong River on the night at the end of the Buddhist Lent. Many people come to Nongkhai every year, hotels are booked out a long time in advance, and traffic that evening is like Bangkok at rush hour. There is also a friendship boat race between Thailand and Laos during this time.
23 October Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
King Chulalongkorn or Rama V. is memorated for the modernisation of Thailand and thanks to his politics Thailand did not become a colony.
31 October Halloween in Pattaya
12 November Full moon night of the 12th lunar months Loy Kratong
Not an official holiday, but a festival you should not miss when in Thailand. People float little containers with a candle, joss sticks and a coin to thank the river goddess and get rid of their past years sins.
* 5 December H.M. The King's Birthday
Also doubles as Thai Fathers Day.
* 10 December Constitution day
1932 the absolute monarchy became constitutional and the first step towards democracy was gone in Thailand.
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