Helgdagar i Thailand

Holidays in Thailand

January

New Year's Day is a public holiday. If you want to see how Thai people celebrate New Year in Bangkok, you can either go to Khao Din (Dusit Zoo) or at Sanam Luang, the large lawn in front of the Grand Palace. Outside Bangkok Chiang Mai is the best way to experience the New Year, which in conjunction with the New Year is organizing a three-day market with large processions.

All tourist resorts and major hotels organizing New Year's celebration and they have big fireworks at midnight.

February
Flowerfestival in Chiang Mai. Maka Puja is an important Buddhist holiday that is celebrated at the end of the month, depending on the moon's position.

The Chinese New Year falls mostly within that month, on the first day of the Chinese calendar month (first full moon after January 21)

Many Chinese shops are closed for that reason. At this time the traditional Chinese lion dance is performed by dancers wearing enormous colourful papier mache masks. The dance is performed by two or more persons. One person moves the mask and the other moves the lion's body.

March
During this month there is no official holidays, but the months of March and April is the best time for kite flying because wind is blowing every night, even during the hottest days. Bangkok holds official kite flying at Sanam Luang from 16:30 until night.

April
On 6 April there is a public holiday in Thailand. They celebrate the installation of the first king of Chakkkri dynasty, the dynasty that also present king belongs to. Many people go to Wat Phra Keo and lay flowers to show respect for the dynasty's former kings whose statues stand in "The Royal Pantheon" in the Grand Palace. The building is only open for the public during this day.

The absolute highlight of the month is Songkran. The old Thai New Year which is between 13 and 15 April. Songkran is actually a religious holiday that originally marked the beginning of the Buddhist year. The traditional way to celebrate Songkran is to go to the temple and sprinkle water on Buddha statues and each other, especially in Chiang Mai and the tourist resorts should expect to get really wet if you walk around the city to experience this ceremony.

May
On May 5, the anniversary of the coronation of King Bhumipols and the day is a public holiday. In the middle of the month gives the annual plowing and early rice planting cause for celebrations. This takes place in Sanam Luang where one performs a ritual of blessed rice. Perhaps the most important and beautiful of all Buddhist holidays falls normally in the month of May. It is Visakha Puja, celebrating the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and entry into nirvana. In the evening they do processions at the temples.

July
Asalha Puja marks the beginning of the Buddhist Lent (Khao Pansa) for three months visiting the monks in the temple, where they engaged in religious duties. It is also now that most young men chose to join the monastery for a period which can last from one week to the whole life. The installation of the monastery, where the young men clothed in their saffron yellow robes, can be defended in all of Thailand. The Buddhist Lent also marks the end of an understanding of festivals since it is rainy season and therefore not safe to organize some outdoor events.

August
On August 12 is the queen Sikrits birthday and that day is public holiday in Thailand.

October
Lent is over and now begins the kathinperiod. Kathin are ceremonies where groups of people goes to various monasteries with gifts to the monks. Across the country, one can see people with unescorted music going or leaving.

On 23 October, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V's death), thousands of people head to his statue in front of the old parliament buildings in Bangkok to lay flowers.

November
Loy Krathong takes place at full moon when you put out a miniature boat on the water. The boat is decorated with lotus flowers and carrying a lighted candle, and often a coin. Both children and adults are putting out these craft in the water to honor the spirits of the water and some people believe that their sins sails away with the boat.

December
King Bhumbipols birthday on December 5 is a national holiday and most of Bangkok is decorated with coloured lanterns, flags, and the king's portrait. You can see the decorations along Ratchadamnoen Nok Rd and around the Grand Palace. Christmas is celebrated by Thais not officially, but in tourist resorts and at the major hotels you find both Christmas trees and the Christmas music is played.