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Thailand is country with many a public holiday and full of religious ceremonies. You have got holidays like Chakri Memorial Day, the Chinese New Year, the vegetarian festival, and then harvest holidays like Songkran, and even a day to honor the father of Bhumibol, Mahidol


Thailand's Public Holidays
The more, the merrier


"Thailand has what they call 'official holidays' and 'unofficial holidays.'  An official holiday would be something like the King's birthday or Labour Day.  An unofficial holiday would be a drunk guy waking up with a hangover one morning and just not showing up for work.  When he returns to the workplace the day after and gets just a slap on the wrist, he's effectively earned himself an unofficial holiday.  What a system!"  Doug Knell, Doug's Republic


Thais are known as loyal workhands, but work itself does not motivate most of them.  It's a means to and end, not an end in itself.  Since enjoyment plays such a large role in the Thai lifestyle, a Thai must enjoy the job he does, even if he isn't very good at it.  In the West, more often than not, a worker despises his job.  It always helps to like what you're doing, but no supervisor in the West is going to care if you're bored out of your skull with your work as long as you're producing profits for their bottom line. 

Officially, no business in Thailand is going to endorse 'unofficial holidays.'   If they were endorsed, they'd become official holidays, wouldn't they?  Thailand is a country where appointment times are more like suggestions. If you arrange to meet a Thai on Tuesday at 8 PM, the meeting could actually take place Wednesday at 10:30 PM or not at all -- and no one is going to call you up to apologize for the inconvenience.   When plans are made for the future, that really means the plans may happen.  If you're told by a That that things might happen, interpret that as they won't happen.  Drop something off to get fixed, the burden is on you to reappear to check if the repairs have been made.  Leaving your phone number behind under the expectation you'll be called when the equipment is fixed is as meaningless a formality as asking someone, "How are you?" in the West. 

Thai holiday

Happy official (and, on the right, unofficial) holidays to all

Below is a list of Thailand's public holidays and an explanation for each. Fixed dates are not possible for all. The Thais uses a Buddhist lunar calendar, and some holidays can vary significantly by date. Thailand also features ceremonies, plenty of them.  These are possible holidays*.   Possible holidays are not that important or everyone would get a day off and frolic on the beach.  How well you sell the importance of these dates to your superiors will depend if these possible holidays became full fledged holidays for you.  Good luck!

Date Holiday Or Possible Holiday* What It Is (And How To Scheme To Turn A Possible Holiday* Into Your Holiday)
1 Jan New Year's Day Each Gregorian calendar year has 12 months:  January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December.  When 31 December is reached, the next day starts with 1 January but with the year value incremented by one.  For example, today is 31 December 1966.  Tomorrow would be 1 Jan but you would add 1 to the year (1966 + 1 = 1967).  
2nd Saturday in January Children's Day* As everyone tirelessly says:  children are our future.  Let's honor them.  If you expect your boss to let you miss work for this one, then you'd better have everyone convinced you're a Catholic who likes big, big families and you want to spend the day at home honoring your dozen children.  Another creative angle if you're under 50:  "Hi, boss.  My parents want to honor me on Children's Day.  I'm a kid, too, you know." 
14 January National Forest Conservation Day* Nature must also be honored, say the governments, who then go ahead and continue with deforestation.  Hey, it's a good cause.  Tell the boss you've joined a Greenpeace demonstration for good measure.  He won't risk firing you.  It'll make him appear to be anti-forests. 
16 January Teachers' Day* Children are the future.  They get their own day.   Children can't be born without parents.  Mothers and fathers each get their own day.   Children can't be educated without teachers, so in 1957, the Thais finally conceded that teachers, who may have less education than an intelligent household pet, should get their own day.  A lot of schools close on this holiday -- the teachers get honored by not having to teach.  For you to get a holiday here, too, say that you, as a parent, are also your children's teacher and you wish to be honored.  If you have no kids, play it this way: life is one big lesson, in which everyone learns and teaches.  Everyone should be honored for their inner teacher.   If your boss doesn't agree, just skip work.  No way he'll fire you.  He'll look like he hates teachers. 
18 January Elephant Duel Day* In 1593, a Thai elephant fought a Burmese elephant.  No one knows or cares who won, but hell, it's a great excuse for a holiday!   Point out how the elephant population in Thailand has sunk from 100,000 a hundred years ago to 2,257 in 1998.  70% of domesticated elephants are unemployed!  That's worse than the unemployment rate in Bangladesh.   Something has got to be done about this problem.  Tell your boss you want to think about the solution on this day.   
18 January Royal Thai Armed Forces Day* Those who can't get excited about elephants can insist they're proud of their nation's military.   Armed forces personnel are encouraged to take it easy and go on an elephant ride to help get momentum behind the other festivity held on this date.  Any foreign power planning to invade Thailand would schedule the invasion for this day.
2 Feburary National Agriculture Day* Most of Thailand's labor force works in agriculture.  Give them a holiday for Buddha's sake!  Agriculture workers celebrate by continuing to do exactly what they do every other day of the year.  So will you.
2 February Inventor's Day* Since 1995, Thailand has honored inventors because Thailand's very own king obtained his own patent on a paddle wheel aerator a few years before.  On 3 Feburary, Copycat Day is unofficially celebrated.  On Copycat Day, held the following day, big multinational corporations reverse engineer all the patents -- or just outright screw over the patent holder knowing they can outspend the puny inventor in court.  If you can invent a way to get yourself off work for this one, consider yourself a bona fide inventor.
3 February Veterans' Day* Veteran remembrance ceremonies are held at Victory Monument.   If you're an inventor whose invention was ripped off by a multinational corporation, you can call yourself a veteran of corporate exploitation and possibly get the day off work.
Full moon in the third Thai lunar month , usually sometime within the first 2-3 weeks of February Magha Bucha Day The Thais have a love affair with Buddha, and on this day, they can publicly shout to the hills, "Hey, Buddha.  We love ya!"  On this day, one is not supposed to commit any kind of sins and to purify the mind.  Since everyone will continue to sin and pollute their minds, Magha Bucha ends up being a great excuse to get off work or school. 
Usually February Chinese New Year* Traditionally celebrated for fifteen gluttonous days in China, in Thailand the Chinese New Year gets three. There's so much symbolism present in the food and the gifts, no one bothers remembering what any of it means anymore.  Fish is a homophone for "surpluses" and the number 8 for "wealth."  But get real.  If someone were offered caviar or lobster and $190 as a gift, they'd leave the fish & chips and $8 in coins on the floor.   If you can convince your boss you're one-eighth Chinese, you might finagle one-eighth of the New Year duration as days off.
14 February Valentine's Day* Once upon a time, the restaurant, chocolate, flower, and greeting card industry met to brainstorm a holiday to enrich all their industries.   One half of a couple must wine and dine by purchasing a meal, chocolates, flowers, and a card for the other to profess his love.  If he doesn't do this, regardless of how he treats his lover the other 364 days of the year, she'll consider him a loser.   A brilliant idea.
24 February National Artists Day* Since 1985, those individuals classified as "National Artists" by the Office of the National Culture Commission are honored. Rewards are less than USD 400 in salary and less than USD 500 in funeral expenses. No National Artist is going to be able to quit his day job, and you haven't a bat's chance in hell of getting a day-long vacation from yours.
31 March King Nangklao Memorial Day* Better known as King Rama III or Jessadabodindra, this long dead monarch was able to secure his own memorial day in 1998.  Nice work!  And sorry, you'll be working on this day, too, unless you can possibly prove you've got some of Rama III's DNA.
1 April Civil Service Day* In most nations, the civil service is considered a joke.  Any coincidence this day falls on the same date as April Fools Day?   Since 1979, the Thais have wishes to commemorate their first Civil Service Act.  Try telling the boss you used to work for the postal service, and I'd say you have a 5% chance of getting a holiday.
2 April Thai Heritage Conservation Day* The Thais don't see any better way of conserving their heritage than to honor another royal family members' birthday.  This date just happens to fall on the birthday of Princess Srindhorn.   Maybe if you're born within a few days of April 2, you could parlay that into a day off.
6 April Chakri Memorial Day The Chakris assumed the throne in 1782 and have held it ever since.  Those who hold power create their own celebrations to honor themselves. 
13-15 April Songkran Festival Call this the Thai new year in celebration of the new harvest.   People drive around in cars and dump cold water, sometimes with ice added, on passersby.  Any other time of the year, the revelers would be called hooligans and beaten by those they soiled. 
30 April Consumer Protection Day* Observed since 1980, Consumer Protection Day is literally just observed, like you might observe a tiny spot of black paint on a barn door.  No one really pays much attention to it, least of all the merchants who sell consumers the stuff for which guarantees and refunds are about as obvious as that tiny spot on the barn door. 
1 May National Labor Day* Workers unite!   Everyone usually gets off on this day.  No need to come up with an excuse for your boss.
Sometime in May Royal Plowing Ceremony Day Also known as Farmer's Day.  A royal ceremony blesses the country's farmers.  Assuming you really aren't a farmer, if you want off work, insist your spouse, if Thai, comes from an ancient line of farm hands or that you've just started farming, with a subsistence-level garden being grown in your back yard. 
5 May Coronation Day All countries need a holiday in May.  May Day or Mother's Day anyone? Thailand astutely knew this long ago and so the King's coronation was performed in May.
Around Mid-May Vesakha Bucha Call this Buddha's birthday, with Buddhist flag hoisting and hymn singing.  Those on the verge of enlightenment try to pass the final stretch on Buddha's birthday as an additional homage to the Maestro.
26 May Sunthorn Phu Day* Thailand's best known poet deserves a day, doesn't he?  Do you write poetry?  Is Sunthorn Phu a hero of yours?  Have you even heard of him before?  It's doubtful you're getting a day off of work.
Sometime in May or June Atthami Puja* Whenever Buddha does something (take his first piss, attempt his first shave, pick up his first lady), as long as there's a record of the date he did it, there's a holiday.   Atthami Puja commemorates Buddha's cremation.
May or June Dragon Boat Festival* In Chinese majority societies it's days off for all!  This festival commemorates the life and times of the Chinese scholar Qu Yuan.  It's the usual story:  honest and erudite guy pisses off peers in the government, and they set him up for a fall.  Qu Yuan wants the last laugh.  He jumps into the Milo River with a stone to drown himself.   People tried to rescue him in a 'dragon boat'.   They failed.   Instead, they created a festival to honor him while they gorge on rice dumplings. 
Around July Asalha Puja This day honors Buddha's first speech to the masses.  If you haven't convinced everyone you idolize the Buddha (a behavior the antithesis of true Buddhist philosophy, by the way) good luck trying to convince your bosses to let you skip out for this one.
1 July Mid Year Bank Holiday This is a polite way of saying, "Half the year has passed, and we'd sure like an excuse for a holiday."   If the banks didn't close, what would be the excuse for a holiday?   So the banks shut down, people say the economy is frozen for that day, and they stay home from work, too.  National Scouts Day happens to fall on the same day.  Luckily, scouts don't rely on banks. 
27 July or thereabouts Buddhist Lent More properly called a Rains Retreat.  Monks get serious.   No traipsing around the country, province to province, bald and begging.   They stay in one temple and meditate.  Layman Buddhists (unsuccessfully try to) give up meat, alcohol, smoking, hard drugs, and S & M.
29 July National Thai Language Day* The English-speaking countries don't have a day commemorating the English language. Don't hold anything against the Thais for promoting a day in which everyone, Thai and foreigner alike, must use Thai.  Speaking or writing in any language but Thai may incur the death penalty.
August Ghost Festival* The living get holidays.   So do trees and the environment.   Why discriminate against ghosts?  They've got feelings, too.  On the fifteenth night of the seventh lunar month, these ghosts get their own festival.  Ghosts have quite the appetite.
12 August Queen's Birthday Australia is liberal, offering the British monarch multiple birthdays throughout the year.  Thailand lets its key monarch, the King, have one birthday per year with an accompanying holiday.  And then, so as not to discriminate, they threw his wife one, too.
18 August National Science Day* King Mongkut -- of The King And I fame -- predicted and observed a total solar eclipse, and now Thais everywhere herald this as National Science Day when it really should be called National Precognition Day.  If you're bald like Yul Brynner was and can sing a few of the songs from the musical, you'll probably get the day off.
September Moon Festival* Three thousand years ago the Chinese worshipped the moon.  Now there's a festival dedicated to it.   Festival goers eat as many moon cakes as possible.  Moon cakes are a dense pastry that would probably taste delicious if apple or cherry pie filling were stuffed within instead of lotus seed, jujube, taro, or durian.  McDonald's might then jump on the moon cake bandwagon.  Even then, maybe Mickey Dees would not.   Moon cakes are labor-intensive to make and cost USD 2.50-12.50 per cake, more than a McDonald's cashier earns per hour. 
20 September National Youth Day* Children have their own day, so youth should, too.  But aren't children already youth?  Yeah, but not all youth are children.   I mean, if I'm 18 years old, I'm a youth, but I am not a child.  Where's my day?  Here it is, commemorating the birth dates of King Chulalongkorn and the King's older brother Ananda Mahidol, who was mysteriously shot in the head in 1946 before being officially crowned as King.  Mahidol died just short of age 21, so legalistically, I suppose you could argue that qualify as a "youth" until at least this age.  Are you under age 21?  No?  Kiss off you chances of getting a day off.
24 September Mahidol Day* The King's brother, wife, and kid(s) get a holiday.  Why not one for dear old pop, considered by the Thais the father of Thai medicine.  Too bad medicine wasn't up to snuff back in the 1920's.  A liver abscess killed the guy at age 37.
September-October Sat Thai* For those obsessed with the moon, here's another festival where people act like werewolves and salivate at the moon.
September-October Vegetarian Festival* Chinese-origin but a hit in Southeast Asia, particularly Phuket where 35% of the population is Chinese.  Meat and dairy products are shunned.  If you wish to cut in front of Thais in bank and bus lines, smear yourself with meat and dairy products, and the Thais will be repelled.  They probably would shun you even if they weren't observing the festival.  True practitioners dress in white and avoid the meat-dairy consumption for 9 days.  
13 October National Police Day* The law enforcement officials who collect bribes and . . . allocate justice, of course . . . deserve their own day.  Watch them drinking Singha bottles by the case.  Thieves and other sundry criminals celebrate this holiday in earnest, too. 
21 October National Nurses' Day* You didn't think the King's mother would be left out of a holiday?   The Thais are brilliantly efficient at setting up a holiday/remembrance day in honor of one person or achievement, but giving it a grand title that opens up the observance to many more.  In this case, the King's mom happened to be a nursing student at the Siriraj School for Midwifery and Nursing, so her birthday becomes a holiday honoring all nurses.  If you're not a nurse (or haven't slept with one), a day off for you is unlikely.
 23 October Chulalongkorn Day When the Thais like someone or something, they give it a holiday.  If more Thais could afford tasty Swiss chocolates to realize how creamy and smooth they are, Swiss chocolates would be awarded a national holiday.  The Thais admired their former king Chulalongkorn for military and political reforms, the aboliton of slavery, and having only a small role in the embellished and farcical The King And I. 
November Loy Krathong* Thais love this holiday.  They light a candle, put it on a raft along with a healthy load of sins, grudges, angers, lusts, and perversions.  As the raft sails away, they're supposed to become enlightened.  It rarely works.
25 November Vajiravudh Day* Some guys get a holiday for being born, others for dying.  King Rama VI gets his holiday for biting the dust at age 44.   
1 December Damrong Rajanubhab Day* Considered the founder of the modern Thai educational system.   Damrong's day commemorates his death.  This guy had nothing to cry about it.  He made it to age 81. 
4 December Thai Environment Day* Since 1991, Thais can contemplate the industry's 60-70% contribution to Thailand's industrial emissions, agricultural burning, Central region water pollution, and high levels of industrial and domestic wastewater. 
5 December King's Birthday He really was born on December 5, too, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Contrary to popular myth, he doesn't also hold American citizenship.  Foreign monarchs born on US soil don't get the blue book.  Sorry!  The King is really just a Thai. 
10 December Constitution Day No one is 100% certain that this holiday commemorates the adoption of Thailand's first constitution in 1932 or if it's more of a generic holiday meant to commemorate Thailand's love of getting a new constitution every few years.  The US celebrates Presidents Day in February to honor the office of the Presidency which changes hands every four or eight years.  Thailand felt that since its constitutions weren't even that permanent, a holiday was in order to celebrate the abstract idea of constitutions in general.  
16 December National Sports Day* In 1967, King Ram IX received a gold medal in sailing at the fourth Southeast Asian Peninsular Games consisting of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Burma, South Vietnam, and Laos.  Now that date is a reminder to Thais to get off their asses and work off some of that body fat.  Laos encourages anyone of Laos ethnicity to ignore this day. Laos won zero medals at those same 1967 games.
December 25 Christmas* Jesus never made it out to Southeast Asia as far as historians can tell.  Christian missionaries are here anyway spreading the news that Jesus guy died for everyone's sins, including the Buddhists.  The Buddhists must not be buying the claptrap.  They're still sending their sins away on a raft the month before on Loy Krathong Day.  NOTE:  Santa Claus requires a transit airspace visa to drop gifts in this part of the world.
28 December King Taksin Memorial Day* Taksin wasn't part of the Chakri dynasty, but he did liberate Thailand from Burmese occupation, and that surely deserves some sort of a day.  On this day, Taksin is commemorated and people tell anti-Burma jokes. 
31 Dec New Year's Eve The Gregorian calendar's last day is December 31.  The following day, the year advances by one.   The evening before the New Year, people get drunk, possibly high, and attend mega expensive dinner buffets.  In the morning, no one remembers what they did.  In Bangkok, if the past is any indication of the future, expect possible bombings of government buildings or tourist areas.



 

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Computer Comprehensive Companion

 Thailand is a country with multiple religious ceremonies and many a public holiday. They have the usual Christmas and New Year's Eve, but also indigenous holidays like Chakri Memorial Day and Songkran. From China comes the Chinese New Year and the vegetarian festival. Mahidol Day honors the king's papa as the Father of Thai Medicine.