Public holidays in Thailand

Public holidays in Thailand are regulated by the government, and most are observed by both the public and private sectors. There are usually nineteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the cabinet. Other observances, both official and non-official, local and international, are observed to varying degrees throughout the country.

All public holidays are observed by government agencies, while the Bank of Thailand regulates bank holidays, which differ slightly from those observed by the government. Private businesses are required by the Labour Protection Act to observe at least 13 holidays per year, including National Labour Day, but may choose the other observances they follow.[1] If a holiday falls on a weekend, one following workday is observed by the government as a compensatory holiday.[2]

Public holidays

As of May 2019, there are 19 annual public holidays adopted by the cabinet:[3]

Date Name Local name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day[4] วันขึ้นปีใหม่ (Wan Khuen Pi Mai) Celebrates the start of the solar and Gregorian year. From 1889–1941, this was held on 1 April.
Full moon, 3rd Thai lunar month (February)a Magha Puja[4]b วันมาฆบูชา (Wan Makhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's teaching of Ovada Patimokkha.
6 April Chakri Memorial Day[4] วันจักรี (Wan Chakkri) Commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty and the founding of Bangkok by King Phutthayotfa Chulalok in 1782. Officially known as King Phutthayotfa Chulalok the Great Day and Chakri Dynasty Memorial Day (วันพระบาทสมเด็จพระพุทธยอดฟ้าจุฬาโลกมหาราชและวันที่ระลึกมหาจักรีบรมราชวงศ์).
13–15 April Songkran Festival[4] วันสงกรานต์ (Wan Songkran) Traditional Thai new year, and the major holiday of the year. Many people return home for family reunions during this period. The first day is known as วันมหาสงกรานต์ (Wan Maha Songkran), the second as วันเนา (Wan Nao), and the third as วันเถลิงศก (Wan Thaloeng Sok). The 14th is also observed as Family Day.
4 May Coronation Day วันฉัตรมงคล (Wan Chattramongkhon) Commemorates the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in 2019 and of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in 1950. Previously held on 5 May; cancelled in 2017 and re-established on 4 May in 2019 (beginning 2020).[5][3]
May, arbitrary date Royal Ploughing Ceremony and Farmer's Day[4]c วันพืชมงคล (Wan Phuetchamongkhon) Ceremony giving blessing to the country's farmers. Officially known as วันพระราชพิธีพืชมงคลจรดพระนังคัลแรกนาขวัญ (Wan Phra Ratcha Phithi Phuetcha Monkhon Lae Charot Phra Nangkhan Raek Na Khwan). Also observed as Farmer's Day. Each year's date is astrologically determined and announced by the Bureau of the Royal Household.
Full moon, 6th Thai lunar month (May)a Vesakb[4] วันวิสาขบูชา (Wan Wisakhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha. Also observed as National Tree Day.
3 June Queen Suthida's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสุทิดา พัชรสุธาพิมลลักษณ พระบรมราชินี (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Suthida Phatcharasutha Phimon Lak Phra Borommarachini) Commemorates the birth of Queen Suthida in 1978[6]
28 July King's Birthday วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาพระบาทสมเด็จพระวชิรเกล้าเจ้าอยู่หัว (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Phrabat Somdet Phra Vajira Klao Chao Yu Hua) Commemorates the birth of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in 1952
Full moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)a Asalha Puja[4]b วันอาสาฬหบูชา (Wan Asanhabucha) Buddhist observance commemorating the Buddha's first discourse, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta
First waning moon, 8th Thai lunar month (July)a Beginning of Vassa[4]bc วันเข้าพรรษา (Wan Khao Phansa) Buddhist observance marking the beginning of Vassa, also known as Buddhist Lent
12 August The Queen Mother's Birthday[4] วันเฉลิมพระชนมพรรษาสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ พระบรมราชชนนีพันปีหลวง (Wan Chaloem Phra Chonmaphansa Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat Phra Borommaracha Chanini Phanpi Luang) Commemorates the birth of Queen Mother Sirikit in 1932; also observed as National Mother's Day (วันแม่แห่งชาติ; Wan Mae Haeng Chat).
13 October King Bhumibol Adulyadej Memorial Day วันคล้ายวันสวรรคตพระบาทสมเด็จพระบรมชนกาธิเบศร มหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดชมหาราช บรมนาถบพิตร (Wan Khlai Wan Sawankot Phra Bat Somdet Phra Boromchanakathibet Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Maharaj Borommanatbophit) Commemorates the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 2016.
23 October King Chulalongkorn Day[4] วันปิยมหาราช (Wan Piyamaharat) Commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn in 1910.
5 December King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Birthday Anniversary[4] วันคล้ายวันพระบรมราชสมภพ พระบาทสมเด็จพระบรมชนกาธิเบศร มหาภูมิพลอดุลยเดชมหาราช บรมนาถบพิตร (Wan Khlai Wan Phra Boromracha Somphop Phrabat Somdet Phra Boromchanakathibet Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej Maharaj Borommanatbophit) Commemorates the birth of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1927. Also observed as National Day and National Father's Day. The United Nations honoured the king for his work in soil science by naming his birthdate as World Soil Day.[7]
10 December Constitution Day[4] วันรัฐธรรมนูญ (Wan Ratthathammanun) Commemorates the promulgation of the first permanent constitution in 1932.
31 December New Year's Eve[4] วันสิ้นปี (Wan Sin Pi) Final day of the solar year.
  • ^a Holidays regulated by the Thai lunar calendar—the usual Gregorian months in which the dates fall are indicated in parentheses. In lunar leap years, these take place one month later.
  • ^b Alcohol sales are prohibited on Buddhist holidays except in international airport duty-free shops.[8]
  • ^c Not observed by the Bank of Thailand and usually not observed by the private sector.

Prior to 2016, there were 16 annual public holidays.[4] With the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the list of annual public holidays for 2017 was revised by the cabinet in April 2017.[9] Coronation Day, which was previously observed on 5 May, was temporarily removed, but will observed from 2020 onwards, with the new date of 4 May, which will be a double anniversary of the coronations of Kings Bhumibol Adulyadej (1950) and Vajiralongkorn (2019).

Two new public holidays from 2017 onwards are:

  • 28 July: King Maha Vajiralongkorn's Birthday
  • 13 October: Anniversary for the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Chinese New Year, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are also observed as public holidays by government agencies in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun Provinces (see below under § Other observances).[10] Government offices under the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Education may also observe the Thai Armed Forces Day (18 January) and Teachers' Day (16 January), respectively (see § National observances below).