Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.
Moving Holidays in Thailand
|Chinese New Years Festival||Feb, 12th||Feb, 1st||Jan, 22nd||Feb, 10th||Jan, 29th|
|Makha Bucha||Feb, 27th||Feb, 16th||Feb, 6th||Feb, 24th||Feb, 12th|
|Visakha Bucha||May, 26th||May, 16th||May, 5th||May, 23rd||May, 12th|
|Asalha Puja||Jul, 24th||Jul, 14th||Jul, 3rd||Jul, 21st||Jul, 11th|
|Ok Phansa||Oct, 20th||Oct, 10th||Oct, 29th||Oct, 17th||Oct, 7th|
Movable holidays with (so far and for us) uncalculatable dates:
|First ploughing ceremony||First half of May, determined by Brahmin astrologers|
|Khao Phansa||1st day of the waning moon in the 8th lunar month, usually in July|
|Sat Thai||last new moon day in the 10th lunar month, usually in September|
|Donation day Thot Kathin||End of the three-month rainy season exam, usually in November|
|Loi Krathong (Festival of Lights)||Full moon in the 12th lunar month, usually in November|
The Thai Lunisolar Calendar
The historical Thai calendar is in its basic features a lunar calendar, according to which the beginning of a month is always based on a new moon. A month therefore has about 29.53 days. So that a month does not end in the middle of the day, the length of a month varies as in our case - but alternately 29 or 30 days. In the 7th month this rule is reversed, so that the 7th month always has as many days as the 6th month. This also changes the number of days in all equal months of the following year:
In order to additionally consider the course of the sun, complex calculations are used to insert a leap day or even a whole leap month every few years. The 8th month of a year is simply doubled. A year has thus not always 12 months, but is also times 354, 355 or 384 days long. This alone makes it difficult to convert the beginning of the year into our Greogian calendar.
The holidays calculated according to this lunar calendar are Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Asalha Puja, Khao Phansa, Sat Thai, Ok Phansa, the Kathin ceremony and Loi Krathong. Most of these ceremonies are held on full moon, only Sat Thai is celebrated on the day of the new moon. Since 1888 this calendar system is only used to calculate holidays. Except for the year, the Thai calendar since then corresponds to the Gregorian calendar.
Songkran, the Thai New Year festival
The Thai calendar is very complex even for today's Thais themselves. On the other hand, the celebration of the beginning of New Year has nothing to do with the calendar beginning of the 1st month, but with the equinox in spring, i.e. the equinox of day and night, where day and night have about the same length. For the sake of simplicity, this festival is always set to the 3 days from April 13th.