Thai Holidays & Celebrations

Thailand’s celebrations and holidays are intertwined with its cuisine.

Thai Holidays & Celebrations

Songkran (Thai New Year)

Signifying the start of a new year in Thai culture, Songkran is celebrated with the country’s largest and most famous street festival. Observed from April 13th-15th, this holiday is known for its large-scale community water fights, symbolizing the “washing away of the previous year” to prepare for the next. Other Songkran celebrations include releasing fish and birds at local temples to signify a cleansing of misfortunes and to promote happiness and freedom. More traditionally, people will mix clean water and fresh flowers to pour over the hands of their parents and grandparents to show respect and blessings. The celebration of Songkran is often filled with friends, family, and plenty of food and drink as people gather around to share in Thailand’s history and success.

The King’s Birthday

The King’s Birthday, celebrated on July 28th, is a national Thai holiday that honors the legacy of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He served as the world’s longest-reigning monarch (for over 70 years), and is widely considered to be the Father of Thailand. During his reign, 4000 royal projects came into existence to unify and lift Thailand across a series of social and political issues. The King’s Birthday is one of the most celebrated Thai holidays of the year. During this time, homes, buildings, and public domains are decorated with royal yellow ornaments like marigolds and candle lights. Visits to the temple are followed by lively celebrations and street festivals filled with music and dancing to honor the Royal King.

Queen Mother’s Birthday

Queen Dowager Sirikit was considered the “Mother of the Nation” to Thailand. Celebrated on August 12th, this annual public holiday in Thailand honors the late Thai Queen’s legacy and also serves as Thailand’s National Mother’s Day. During her reign, she was known for many philanthropic initiatives and also served as the president of the Thai Red Cross. On the annual holiday, Thai households and public places are decorated with portraits of Queen Dowager Sirikit, and the country participates in a nationwide candle-lighting ceremony. The celebration is followed with firework displays and street festivals that bring loved ones together to honor the Royal Queen.

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