Holidays and Festivals in Thailand

Make note of the major holidays and festivals in Thailand; you can expect hotels and most other accommodation, as well as transportation such as airplanes, trains, buses and boats, to be booked solid at these times. These include the Chinese New Year, Songkran, Loy Kratong, Christmas and New Year’s. School vacations and other holiday times around the world may also make it difficult to stay and travel where you’d like. The best way to deal with the holiday crowding is to organize details of accommodation and transport within Thailand far in advance.

If you are prepared, holiday time in Thailand can be fun and exciting. You are invited to join in the festivities, even as a tourist. It’s a great opportunity to experience a little of the real Thai culture … and to get sprayed with water during Songkran (see below)! Festivals that are more local in nature are mentioned in the description of their specific locale, elsewhere in ThailandGuide24. NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list of all holidays and festivals in Thailand.

Songkran in Thailand 

New Year’s Day, January 1

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is celebrated in January / February by Thai of Chinese ethnicity. This week you can expect difficulties booking accommodation and transport.

Dates for the start of celebration:

  • 22 jan – Sunday 2023
  • 10 Feb – Saturday 2024
  • 29 Jan – Wednesday 2025
  • 17 Feb – Tuesday 2026

Chakri, April 6

This holiday commemorates the founding of the Chakri Thai Royal Dynasty over 200 years ago.

Songkran, April 13

The Songkran Water Festival celebrates Thai New Year. It is famous (or perhaps infamous) as the time when everyone – and that means everyone, young and old, and even police – gets sprayed with water in a spree that lasts a day or two. Be prepared with plenty of dry clothes and advance reservations, as hotels and transportation are usually booked solid for this week. In Chiang Mai, they do things on a slightly grander scale, spraying water for a full week. Expect to be soaked as soon as you venture outside your hotel or taxi.

Visit and learn more about the water festival in Thailand and other celebrations in Southeast Asia.

International Workers’ Day, May 1

You can expect most banks and state run businesses to be closed. Some private companies are closed as well.

Coronation Day, May 5

Celebrate the anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King Bhumibol, Thailand’s beloved and revered monarch.

Visaka Bucha

Visaka Bucha is a celebration of Buddha’s life, enlightenment and death. It is celebrated according to the Thai calendar, at the full moon of the sixth lunar month.

Asana Bucha and Khao Pansa Wan

This festival occurs at the full moon in the eighth month of the Thai calendar. It marks the first day that monks return to their temples.

Her Majesty’s Birthday, August 12

Her Majesty Queen Sikrit’s birthday is a dual celebration in Thailand, as August 12 is also observed as Mothers’ Day. This is a time when you will find many restaurants and department stores packed with Thai families in festive mood.

Chulalongkorn Day, October 23

This marks the anniversary of the death of King Chulalongkorn, one of Thailand’s greatest kings. He modernized the country and protected Thailand from domination by Europe.

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is an exceptionally beautiful festival, although not an official holiday. Candles and incense are lit and then set afloat on the water with small boats adorned with flowers, as hot air balloons are released into the sky. In cities like Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui, the celebration usually lasts just one night but in Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, it goes on for several days.

Loy means float and krathong is floating wood decorated with banana leaves, candls, this day is one of Thailands most important days in the calendar. It occurs on full moon day in the twelfth lunar month, when water overflows the rivers and canals.

Western calendar dates for this celebration:

  • 2022 November 9 Wednesday
  • 2023 November 28 Tuesday
  • 2024 November 16 Saturday
  • 2025 November 6 Thursday
  • 2026 November 25 Wednesday
  • 2027 November 14 Sunday
  • 2028 November 2 Thursday
  • 2029 November 21 Wednesday
  • 2030 November 10 Sunday

Rama IX Birthday, December 5

The birthday of Rama IX King Bhumibol is also celebrated as Fathers’ Day.

Constitution Day, 10 December

This day commemorates the 1932 adoption of a constitutional monarchy in Thailand.

Christmas Eve, December 24

Christmas Day, December 25
Christmas is not an official holiday in Thailand. However, many public places such as malls, hotels and restaurants will sport decorations and Christmas trees. Tourist will usually be able to find a church service plus a traditional Christmas dinner.

New Year’s Eve, December 31

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are public holidays in Thailand.

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