The Most Important Public Holidays In Thailand In 2021
Photo KnowInsiders

When planning your trip to Thailand, it is important to keep track of the major national holidays celebrated throughout the country. However, although businesses and government offices are closed on public holidays, tourist attractions and shops remain open to accommodate you. You should just be prepared to grit your teeth through traffic as these holidays brings about increased competition for travel and accommodation from Thais who use long weekends to get away from the big city. Employees in Thailand are entitled to at least a 1-day off per week and a minimum of 13 public holidays per year must be granted.

Photo Time And Date
Photo Time And Date

Thailand has a total of 37 holidays in 2021. In the table below, you will find the details of the holidays and when they are observed.

Holiday

Date

Details

New Year's Day

Friday, January 1, 2021

New Year’s Day is the first day of the year, or January 1, in the Gregorian calendar.

National Children's Day

Saturday, January 9, 2021

National Children's Day is a observance in Thailand

Teachers' Day

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Teachers' Day is a observance in Thailand

Chinese Lunar New Year's Day

Friday, February 12, 2021

Chinese New Year is the first day of the Chinese calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar mainly used for traditional celebrations.

Second day of Chinese Lunar New Year

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Second day of Chinese Lunar New Year is a observance in Thailand

Third day of Chinese Lunar New Year

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Third day of Chinese Lunar New Year is a observance in Thailand

Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Valentine’s Day is a special time to celebrate love, romance and friendship.

Makha Bucha

Friday, February 26, 2021

Magha Puja Day is an important holy day that honors the Sangha, or the Buddhist community on the first full moon day of the third lunar month.

March Equinox

Saturday, March 20, 2021

March Equinox in Thailand (Bangkok)

Chakri Day

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Chakri Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Songkran

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Songkran is a national holiday in Thailand

Labor Day

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Labor Day, or May Day, is a day off for workers in many countries around the world.

Labor Day observed

Monday, May 3, 2021

Labor Day, or May Day, is a day off for workers in many countries around the world.

Coronation Day

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Coronation Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Visakha Bucha

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Visakha Bucha is a national holiday in Thailand

Queen Suthida's Birthday

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Queen Suthida's Birthday is a national holiday in Thailand

June Solstice

Monday, June 21, 2021

June Solstice in Thailand (Bangkok)

Asalha Bucha

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Asalha Puja Day (Dhamma Day) is a Buddhist festival that commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon on the full moon of the eighth lunar month.

Buddhist Lent Day

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Buddhist Lent Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Asalha Bucha observed

Monday, July 26, 2021

Asalha Puja Day (Dhamma Day) is a Buddhist festival that commemorates the Buddha’s first sermon on the full moon of the eighth lunar month.

Buddhist Lent Day observed

Monday, July 26, 2021

Buddhist Lent Day is a national holiday in Thailand

King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday is a national holiday in Thailand

The Queen's Birthday

Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Queen's Birthday is a national holiday in Thailand

September Equinox

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

September Equinox in Thailand (Bangkok)

Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol is a national holiday in Thailand

Chulalongkorn Day

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Chulalongkorn Day observed

Monday, October 25, 2021

Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday in Thailand

Halloween

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Halloween is a festive occasion that is celebrated in many countries on October 31 each year.

Loy Krathong

Friday, November 19, 2021

Loy Krathong is a observance in Thailand

King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Father’s Day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting on different dates worldwide.

King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day observed

Monday, December 6, 2021

Father’s Day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting on different dates worldwide.

Constitution Day

Friday, December 10, 2021

Constitution Day is a national holiday in Thailand

December Solstice

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

December Solstice in Thailand (Bangkok)

Christmas Eve

Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day and falls on December 24 in the Gregorian calendar.

Christmas Day

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Day is one of the biggest Christian celebrations and falls on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar.

New Year's Eve

Friday, December 31, 2021

New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year, December 31, in the Gregorian calendar.

Some important holidays

New Year

In Thailand, many who live in the cities or away from their birthplace will make the most of the end-of-year holiday to visit their home town and their parents and family still living there.

There are New Year’s events in the schools, corporate parties, musical concerts, fireworks displays, and “New Year countdown events” throughout Thailand. A particularly large gathering takes place in Bangkok by the Central World mall.

And even though this is not “Buddhist New Year”, many religious Thai will visit local temples to “make merit”, give money or gifts to the monks, hear religious addresses from monks, ceremonially release birds or fish, or go on New Year’s “meditation retreats”.

His Majesty the Late King's Birthday Holiday

Photo ASEAN Times
Photo ASEAN Times

While most nations hold their National Days in parallel to the time they gained independence from colonizers, Thailand has a different story altogether. In Thailand, the National Day is celebrated on the 5th of December as it is the birth anniversary of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Bhumipol Adulyadej was born in 1927 in the United States, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father was then there studying at Harvard. After a short-lived return to Thailand, he and his family moved to Switzerland and did not return until after World War II had ended. Back in Thailand, when his father and brother had already passed away, he became King of Thailand on June 9th, 1946. At that point, he took up the title, “King Rama IX.”

Later, King Bhumipol went back to Switzerland to engage in further educational pursuits, leaving an uncle to rule as regent in his place. There, he met a young lady who eventually became his wife and Queen Sirikit. Only in 1950 was he of?cially crowned in the traditional ceremony. King Bhumipol had four children: three daughters and one son

Although the monarchy has had little power in Thailand since a constitutional monarchy was instituted in 1932, King Bhumi-

pol was a pillar of stability amid the upheavals of Thai politics over the decades. He managed to increase the infuence and powers of the monarchy through his personal popularity and prestige.

The history and future of King Bhuimbol’s birthday King Bhumibol, born on 5 December 1927 in the US state of Massachusetts, was widely revered by people across Thailand, and consequently his birthday has long since given rise to a large number of celebrations and festivities across the country annually. After his death in 2016, it serve as an annual opportunity to remember the late king. As King Bhumibol was seen

by many as the symbolic father of Thailand, 5 December has also long been celebrated as father’s day nationwide – in the same way as mother’s day falls on 12 August, the birthday of Queen Sirikit – and this has not been changed since his passing. On the occasion of father’s day, Thais pay respect to their father and grandfather, often offering them a canna ?ower, similar to a lily and known in Thai as dok phuttha raksa.

The Queen's Birthday

National Holiday in Thailand held annually on August 12th. This holiday marks the birthday of the current queen mother of Thailand, Queen Sirikit.

If August 12th falls on a weekend, the holiday will be observed on the following Monday.

Sirikit was born on August 12th 1932. Sirkit met Rama IX in France in 1946 when he had already become ruler of Thailand. The royal couple were married on April 28th 1950, a week before the King's official coronation.

Sirikit is the mother of Thailand’s reigning monarch, King Vajiralongkorn (or Rama X). The King has been on the throne since the death of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), in 2016.

Across Thailand, buildings are decorated to honour their queen mother, with the most splendid are in Bangkok, where many buildings and streets are festooned with coloured lights, flowers, and portraits of the queen mother.

Thailand’s Queen Mother suffered a stroke in 2012 and has stayed mostly out of the public eye since. The Thai people wear blue throughout the month of August to honour her.

Songkran Festival

The Songkran Festival is a national holiday in Thailand. It marks the beginning of the Thai New Year. The word Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit work samkranti, which means astrological passage. It is a traditional Buddhist festival, and it is usually celebrated between 13 and 16 April unless the dates are modified by an official government announcement.

Photo Thai Embassy
Photo Thai Embassy

The Songkran Festival is also known as the water festival. It celebrates water as a ritual of washing away negativity from the year before. People celebrating Songkran take part in a traditional pouring of water that symbolises washing away back luck and sins from a person’s life. Some people add herbs to the ritual water, as well.

As April is the hottest month of the year, the celebration of water is relevant on many levels of the festival. However, Songkran is not always celebrated in the same traditional manner. In big cities, the country takes to the streets. Cities like Bangkok see a host of street parties and water fights.

The most famous street party in Bangkok is called Silom. This party takes place all along a street that is over 4 kilometres in length. It is a huge party in which thousands of people have water fights with water guns, balloons and any other vessels they can get their hands on. The street is also crowded with vendors selling water guns, toys, food and drinks.

As a national holiday, offices and banks are closed during the three-day period. Many people take this as an opportunity to go visit their families. In addition to traditional water rituals and street parties, there are other key activities that the Thai people participate in during this week. Many will take this time to attend their temple. Some may also participate in an annual spring cleaning of their homes.

On the second day of Songkran, many families rise early and take part in traditional Buddhist rituals. They give alms to Buddhist monks. They also take part in a ritual that is known as ‘Bathing the Buddha image.’ During this ritual, devout followers will pour water over the statues of Buddha in their home and at their local temple.

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