Thai Holidays, Celebrations, and Festivals Chart 2012

If a Thai National or Public holiday* falls on a weekend then the next working day is often substituted as the holiday.
Thailand holidays are many many. During the government and banking holidays government services like immigration more often than not close. Some banks and all ATMs, Foreign Exchange Booths are open. Buddhist celebrations are often family and travel times so prepare ahead for hotels, guest houses, trains, planes and busses. The school year usually starts mid May after a holiday that can start at some schools mid March. There are also usually two weeks of school holiday in October. To calculate the year remember there is a 543 year difference between the Buddhist calendar and the western Gregorian calendar So the year 2012 is 2555 in Thailand. Thai lunar calendar is used to figure out religious holidays and the Thai Solar Calendar. All in all holidays are many and forever changing so double check holidays.

1 January (Saturday) 

2 January (Monday) Substitution Day

New Year’s Day Western This New Year’s celebration is one of three New Year’s that Thais celebrate. First one is on January 1stst Western New Years and is celebrated like many from the Western countries. The second is Chinese New Years on January 23 which falls on the first day of the lunar month and then there is Thai New Year’s, Songkran, in April which is based on the Hindu system. (Thailand National Holiday*)
Often the Second Saturday in January is (Saturday) Children’s DayA day to honor and show respect for the younger Thai generations. This is a great time of dance, singing and celebration Thai style.
16 January (Sunday) Teacher’s Day Celebrations for the highly regarded teachers through out Thailand.
23 January – 5th (Monday) Chinese New Year The 3rd is New Years Day with festivals and celebrations often lasting to the 5th. This is a time for house cleaning, paying respect to family and ancestors, festivals, and parades though out Thailand. Firecrackers and visitations to parents, showing respect for Chinese past and present are all a part of this great New Years.
March 7 (Wednesday) Magha Puja or Makha Bucha Day This National Holiday honors Buddha and his 1st teachings 9 months after his enlightenment. It is believed that on this day the Lord Buddha taught his ways and ordained his first disciples. Thais and volunteers often celebrate by going to a local wat or temple. At sunset Thais light candles and incense and circle clockwise around the main temple, meditating on inner peace, good thoughts, and good ways. This candlelight processions are called Wian Tian. This like many Buddhist days is dependent on the new and full moon and the lunar system. It falls on the full moon of the fourth lunar month. (Thailand National Holiday*)
6  April (Friday) Chakri Memorial Day This Thai National Holiday celebrates the day in the 1730’s that King Rama I was crowned as the first king of the Chakri dynasty. It is also a celebration of the continued dynasty of King Rama I to IX, (Thailand National Holiday*)
13 – 17 April Buddhist New Years Thailand In countries where Theravada Buddhism is found like Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia, the Buddhist New Years is celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April. Buddhist New Years are dependent on culture and backgrounds of the people too but usually the specific dates are dependent on the lunar calendar and full moons.
13-17 April (In some areas the 16thand 17th are also celebrated.) (Friday-Tuesday) Songkran Festival or Bun Pi Mai Thai New Year’s – Fun, family, and lots of water being thrown to celebrate the needed and important rainy season. Buddha images are washed and paraded through the temples. (Thailand National Holiday*)
1  May (Tuesday) 

1  May (Tuesday)

Thailand Labor Day (Thailand National Holiday*)
5  May (Saturday) Coronation Day – Celebrating the current King Rama IX becoming King of Thailand in 1949. (Thailand National Holiday*)
To be Announced set by royal Thai astrologers Royal Plowing and Farmers Day– Ancient Royal Family, Brahmin Priests and Thai farmer ceremony of planting of rice. It is a semi religious holiday that dates back 700 years. Check out the events at the Grand Palace.
4 June (Monday) Visakha Bucha or Visakha Puja – Buddha’s birthday for Thailand This Holy Buddhist day celebrates his birth, enlightenment & entry into Nirvana. Also known as Vesak or Visakah Pujz is the major Buddhist festival of the year. It is celebrated in may during the first full moon day except during a leap year when the festival comes in June. Vaisakha with its May western counterpart means the second month of the Hindu Calendar, April being the first month. It is based on the lunisolar calendar and dates to the 3rd century called the Surya Siddhanta and is a complicated often disputed system of time. (Thailand Public Holiday)
May to June Rocket Festivals in Laos and Thailand – also known as Bun Bang Fai is an ancient festival popular in northeast Thailand. Rockets are launched in hopes that the rain god, Vassakan will bring rains and in return good crops and weather for farmers in Isan and elsewhere in Thailand.
26 June Celebration of the life and work of famous Thai poet, Sunthorn Phu
Usually 1  July National Scout Day The soon to be independent from the Thai government boy and girl Scout programs are often an important part of Thai life, schools and culture.
July 1 Thai Banks Mid Year Day (Thailand Public Holiday)*
Around June or July, set by psychic mediums tatloei@tat.or.th Sometimes called Hungry Ghost or Phi Tha Khon Festival in Dan Sai, Loei or Phi Ta Khon Festival – Monks and locals welcome back Buddha to earth, wear ghost like masks, dance, set off rockets to music, Buddhist teachings, and great food.
2 August Asallha Bucha Day or Asanha Puja Day – Candle, incense and temple time Candle Festival Day A day to meditate on the Buddhist middle path, the four truths and the eight fold path and remember Buddha’s first teachings to his followers in Deer Park. (Also known as Asarnha and Asalha Bucha Day and falls on the full moon of the 8th lunar month.) (Thailand Public Holiday)
3 August 1st Day of Buddhist Lent – Wan Kao Phansa This is when most Thai Buddhist monks go to the temples or wats and stay for 3 months. Many Buddhist followers in Thailand, Lao and other Buddhist countries will give gifts. Also known as Vassa and falls on the first waning moon of the 8th lunar month. (Thailand National Holiday)
12 August (Sunday/Monday) Queen’s Birthday & Mother’s Day for Thailand (Thailand National Holiday)
14 August ? (Wednesday) Tetsakan Sart Chin – Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival. Based on Buddhist and Taoist
Mid September Bueng Khan Long Boat Racing Festival
30 October Wan Awk Phansa – End of Buddhist Lent. Many Thai Buddhists for a month give offerings of goods and food to the local community monks. Visitors  t will see many Thais participating in Robe offering ceremonies start Thot Kathin –  End of Buddhist Lent:Thod Kathin
Offering Ceremonies Begin when rains diminish and Monks come out of temple after three months and Thai Buddhists give them new robes and other gifts in appreciation (lasts for 30 days)
October (Monday) 

23 October

Chulalongkorn Day – Celebrates King Rama V’s life and accomplishments and celebrates the independence from colonial rule and wisdom of King Chulalongkorn. (Thailand National Holiday) Some businesses may be closed.
Mid October Naka or Naga Fireball Festival (Bueng Kan and Nong Khai Province) Many Thais believe that there is a scientific
10 November (Saturday) Loy Kratong Day – To show respect the water & water goddess, Thais float small banana leaf boats on the rivers and other water ways. Not a national holiday but a time when many Thais show respect to the waters throughout their country.
3  December International Day of Persons with Disabilities
5  December (Wednesday) King’s Birthday & Father’s Day (Thailand National Holiday)
10 December (Monday) Constitution Day or Democracy Celebration remembering when Thailand as granted its first constitution in 1932. Substitution Day (Thailand National Holiday)
31 December (Saturday) New Years Eve or Wan Sin Pi, the day before the western New Years some businesses may be closed as it is a national and public holiday. (Thailand National Holiday)