Thailand Holidays and Festivals 2017


Thailand Islands - Holidays and Festivals 2017

Share |

Thailand's fifteen public holidays and festivals are based mainly on the Thai Buddhist Lunar Calendar and nature. It is important to remember that most Government buildings, banks and schools will be closed on public holidays. The Thai Lunar Calendar differs from the Western Gregorian Calendar as it is based on the death of Buddha in 543 BC. Therefore the year 2014 becomes 2557 on the Thai Lunar Calendar or subtract 543 from the Thai year. For example, 2557 - 543 = 2014.

Many of the Buddhist festivals are celebrated by Thais and foreigners are welcome to join in. This is especially true of the Songkran water festival which celebrates the traditional Thai new year over a few days in which everyone throws or sprays water over one another.
Below is a list of the main Thai holidays and festivals for 2017:

New Year's Day
2nd January 2017. Thais celebrate three new year day holidays and this western new year day holiday is celebrated as a national public holiday.

Chinese New Year
28th January 2017 . This is the second new year day celebration and although it is celebrated widely - especially amongst Thais from a Chinese background, it is not a pubic holiday.

Makha Bucha
13th February 2017 . This festival celebrates the teachings of Buddha on the full moon of every third lunar month. Makha Bucha is an important festival in Thailand and the the festival encourages Buddhist monks throughout the world to learn more about their studies. The monks carry candles and walk around the temples and shrines three times during the day.

Chakri Day
6th April 2017. Festival celebrating the all the great Kings of the Thai Royal Chakri Dynasty which has ruled Thailand since 1782. Ceremonies are led by the current King of the royal family - King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The King and royal family are highly respected and loved in Thailand and this festival encourages the people to show their love for the present and past Kings of Thailand.

Songkran Water Festival - Thai New Year
13th to 17th April 2017. The Thai new year is famous throughout the world as the water festival where people of all ages (both Thai and tourists) celebrate by spraying or throwing water on everyone for three days. Children and adults line the streets throwing water over motor cyclists and cars as well as individuals or groups walking the streets. To enjoy the festival, book early and carry a spare set of dry clothes.

Thailand Labour Day
1st May 2017. A public holiday where most Government offices and Banks are closed for the day.

Coronation Day
5th May 2017. A three day celebration to commemorate the coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej who was crowned as Rama IX (9th King of the Chakri dynasty) on 5th May 1950.

Royal Ploughing Ceremony
No Date . An ancient ceremony that celebrates the start of the rice growing season.

Visakha Bucha / Vesak Day
10th May 2017. A national holiday and the most important Buddhist holiday celebrating the birth, enlightenment and entry into nirvana of Lord Buddha.

Wan Khao Phansa
11th July 2017. Celebrates the beginning of Buddhist lent period.

H.M. The Queen's Birthday
14th August 2017. Celebrating the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sikrit.

Chulalongkorn Day
23rd October 2017. Celebrating the anniversary of the death of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who is highly revered by the Thai people and it is believed that he saved Thailand from being dominated by European powers.

Wan Awk Phansa
6th October 2017. Celebrating the end of the Buddhist lent period.

Loy Krathong
4th November 2017. Although this is not a public holiday, this festival of light is celebrated widely by Thais who offer candles and incense which float down the river in small hot air balloons.

H.M. The King's Birthday
5th December 2017. Celebrated throughout Thailand, His Majesty King Bhumipol's birthday is also know as fathers day.

Constitution Day
11th December 2017. Celebrating the time when Thailand was granted its first constitution in 1932.
Christmas Day

New Year's Eve
31st December 2017. This is a public holiday in Thailand marking the day before the Western New Year day.