THAI CHILDERN’S DAY
(2nd Saturday of January)
The National Children's Day was held for the first time on the first Monday of October 1955. Later it was changed to the second Saturday of January and is still in practice today.
The objectives are to enable children to realise their importance, to be disciplined, being aware of right and duty, responsibility towards the society, be proud of their country, Religion and Monarchy, and believe in a democratic system having the King as the head of state.
Every year on this day, His Majesty the King gives an advice while the Supreme Patriarch gives a moral teaching. The Prime Minister also gives a slogan. This indicates that children are the most valuable resource of the nation. We often hear the saying that, "Children are the future of the nation, if the children are intelligent, the country will be prosperous."
On this day, many interesting places such as the Dusit Zoo, the Army, Navy, and Air force bases, Government House and Parliament House are opened for children to visit. All children look forward to National Children's Day. <top>
THE TEACHER’S DAY
In 1956 Prime Minister Field Marshal P. Pibulsongkram, addressed a gathering of teachers from throughout the country and suggested they should have a day of their own so that their students would get an opportunity to pay respect to them. He said, "Since our teachers play an important role next to our parents, I would like to propose the idea to this gathering and ask you to consider it in principle. I hope no one will object to this idea."
Teachers' Day and it was celebrated for the first time on January 16, 1957. The event has been held since then and is held nationwide. Highlights of the day include religious activities, a ceremony of paying respect to teachers, and activities to strengthen unity among teachers.
To express our gratitude to the teachers, we wish them and their family happiness and a good health. <top>
THAILAND VETERANS DAY
February 3, of every year is Thailand Veterans Day, and we are quite used to the selling of red poppy on this day. But, how many people who know how the red poppy is related to the veterans. If you have never known before, let read the followings:
History of Red Poppy
The red poppy is a symbol of peace and it reminds us of the people who died for us. The red of poppy means red blood from the men who died in battle. The red poppy is not only a symbol used in Thailand, but also an international symbol for those who died in war, also had international origins.
The poppy reminds us of the people who gave their lives for peace and freedom. The poppy reminds us of war and the great costs it brings society and that peace is something we should strive for beyond all things.
In Thailand, handmade poppies were first distributed by the idea of Ladyship Chongkol Kittikhajorn as the president of The War Veterans Association or the current War Veterans Organization of Thailand in order to raise money for the war veterans and their families. <top>
THAILAND'S ARMED FORCES DAY
(25th of January)
It is not a national holiday, but people are reminded on this day of how much they owe to the country's armed services: The Royal Thai Army, The Royal Thai Air Force, The Royal Thai Navy.
Armed Forces Day also commemorates a fierce, and bloody battle that took place on the 25th of January, 434 years ago.
On that day in 1592, a young monarch defeated invading forces from neighbouring Burma, and became known to his people as King Naresuan The Great. This battle, and the victory for the Siamese Army, was the culmination of a boyhood dream kept alive during the then Prince Naresuan's years of captivity by land-grabbing Burmese princes.
During what historians allude to as "the first fall of Ayutthaya", the ancient capital of Siam, Prince Naresuan, at the tender age of nine, was kidnapped by marauding Burmese troops and carried back to Burma where he was held hostage in order to keep Siamese forces at bay.
Being a royal personage, he was permitted to mingle with his Burmese counterparts and their courtiers. The young prince observed every move and overheard every battle plan being discussed at the highest level; all the while maintaining his air of the dejected captive. As he got older, the prince was allowed to serve with the Burmese Army during raids into towns occupied by the tribes of the Shan and the Mon. His prowess on the field of battle resulted in a plot by jealous Burmese princes to have him assassinated upon his return to the then Burmese capital of Ava. Alerted to this by a Buddhist monk in the Mon town of Muang Kraeng, the young prince's hatred for his Burmese captors finally came to a head. Calling the townspeople and his troops to a meeting, he declared publicly his intention to restore independence to the Kingdom of Siam. In 1584, he led his army and ten thousand freed people, back to Ayutthaya.
After his father died, Prince Naresuan, at the age of 35 became King of Siam. Two years later, his dream of driving the Burmese from his country became a reality. The Burmese armies launched yet another land-grabbing foray into Siam. At the height of the battle, King Naresuan rode his elephant through the melee in search of the most hated enemy of his years spent in captivity, the Burmese Crown Prince. Spotting him, the King drove a lance though his enemy's body, thereby ending the battle, and subsequently being hailed as King Naresuan The Great.
In 1767 that thousands of Siamese were put to the sword, their glorious capital reduced to ruins. As the forces of the Burmese King, Hsinbyushin of the Alaungpaya dynasty ran amok through the Golden Capital of Siam, rivers of blood flowed through the great city's streets, and much of the capital's art, architecture and literature of that period were lost forever. Nothing was spared; even the more sacred buildings were put to the torch.
Taak Sin, a Siamese Army commander, fled south to Rayongto plan how to rid the Burmese invaders. Realising that Ayutthaya had been razed to the ground, he set about establishing the new capital city of Thonburi, deeming it to be on a safer site than that of Ayutthaya, due to its sturdy fortifications and proximity to the sea.
Taak Sin quickly rose through the ranks to qualify as a circuit judge, was appointed deputy governor to the province and city which, to this day, bears his name, Taak. By 1768, he became King Somdej Phrapabomrajaa, but better known as King Taak. His dream of ridding Siam of the dreaded Burmese would take time.
When the Burmese forces advanced and occupied Chiang Mai, Taak Sin lost all patience with his enemy. The Burmese commander of the day, had his men retreat through Chang Puak Gate and run toward what is now Chotana Road. Taaksin's forces swept though the city, chasing the invading army into the countryside where they were dealt with according to rural law - death by hanging or by machete.
On the 25th of January, as the people of Thailand show gratitude towards the men and women of their armed forces, they would do well to recall with pride the two warrior Kings who made this day so special, King Naresuan The Great and King Taak Sin The Great. <top>
MAGHA PUJA DAY
Magha Puja Day is one ofthe most important Buddhist celebrations on the full moon day of the third lunar month (about last week of February or early of March).
This day marks the great four events that took place during Lord Buddha's lifetime. 1250 Buddhist monks from different places came to pay homage to Lord Buddha at Valuwan Vihara in Rajgaha, the capital of Magaha State, each of his own initiative and without prior notification or appointment. All of them were the enlightened monks (or Arahantas) all of them had been individually ordained by Lord Buddha himself.
On the evening of that day, Lord Buddha gave the assembly a discourse "Ovadha Patimokha" laying down the principles of His Teachings summarised into three acts, i.e. to do good, to abstain from bad action, and to purify the mind.
The day is declared as a public holiday so that people from all walks of life can go to the temple to make merit and perform other religious activities in the morning and to take part in the candlelit procession or "Wien Tien" in Thai in the evening.
At the same time, His Majesty the King will preside over the religious rites to mark the occasion at the Emerald Buddha Temple and will later lead hundreds of people in a candlelit procession held within the temple's compound. <top>
CHAKRI MEMORIAL DAY
(6th of April)
Before the establishment of Chakri Dynasty (the current royal lineage), the Kingdom of Siam (former name of Thailand) was in turmoil. Aggressive Burmese troops occupied the Northern Kingdom of Lan Na and were proceeding down south to the Siamese Royal Capital of Ayutthaya.
Chakri Day commemorates the founding of the Chakri Dynasty in 1782 by King Rama I. In the new capital city of Bangkok, King Rama I built the Grand Palace that now houses the Emerald Buddha. In addition, he helped release Thailand from the Burmese control, after Ayutthaya succumbed 14 years earlier.
In commemorating “Chakri Day,” the national flag is proudly displayed by the people of Thailand and both government officials and members of the community participate in traditional ceremonies, making offerings of flowers and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House of Chakri. <top>
(13-15th of April)
Songkran Festival is the most widely observed not only in this country but also in Burma, Cambodia and the Lao State.
Songkran is a Sanskrit word in Thai form which means the entry of the sun into any sign of the Zodiac. Songkran in this instance is when the sun enters the sign of Aries or the Ram. Its full name is Maha Songkran or Major Songkran to distinguish it from the other ones. But the people call it simply the Songkran.
It is their traditional New Year when they can enjoy the holidays to the full with no economic hindrance. Songkran is a fixable feast on the solar calender. It begins on the 13th April and ends on the 15th April, but occasionally in certain years on the 16th April. The Songkran is the celebration of the vernal equinox similar to the Indian Holi Festival, the Chinese Ching Ming, and the Christian Festival of Easter. The beginning of spring when the sun crosses the equator is now on the 21st of March which is due to the precession of the equinox. The Songkran Festival is also like April Fool's Day, when the maids of the village play pranks on any gallant who happens to pass by their way. He will be caught and bound by the united strength of the maids and they will daub him with blacking.
On the eve of Songkran Day, i.e. on the 12th April, the people clean their house and burn all the refuse. This is a Spring Cleaning Day done as a duty in the belief that anything bad belonging to the old year will be unlucky to the owner if left and carried on to the coming New Year.
Early on the first day of Songkran, the 13th April, the people both young and old in their new clothing go to the Wat or monastery belonging to their village or district to offer food to the monks there. The people put put boiled rice and into the covers of the alms bowls, food, fruits and sweetmeats into the alms bowls.
In the afternoon there is bathing ceremony of the Buddha images and also of the abbot of the temple. They bring with them candles, joss sticks, flowers and small bottles of Thai scented water called "nam ob" or water saturated with perfumes. At the wat shrine each devotee lights a candle and three joss sticks and places them together with a single flower or a bouquet in a receptacle in front of Buddha's altar. After this begins the well-known "water throwing feast".
The bathing of images is done as ritualistic ceremony, but it is no other than a New Year's purification. Younger people will also on this day or the succeeding days go to pay their respect to and ask blessings from their elders and respected persons. They will pour scented water into the palms of the old people and present them with a towel and other bathing requisites. In the old days it was an actual bathing where the young people helped the old people to take a bath and to change their old clothing and put on the new clothes which the young people presented them as an act of respect to the aged on the occasion of the New Year respected persons. <top> .
On 5 May of every year, the Thai people rejoice and express their affection and loyalty to His Majesty the King him by organizing a celebration on his coronation day.
Before the reign of King Rama IV (King Mongkut), there was no coronation ceremony in Thailand, there was only private ceremony held by high ranking officials to celebrate their Royal Regalia and positions in the 6th lunar month. A coronation, however, took place for the first time when King
Rama IV was crowned on 15 May 1851.
During the reign of the present king, the ceremony is performed for three days. The first day falls on 3 May in which the following ceremony will be performed; the king performs a merit-making ceremony at the Audience Hall of Amarindra in dedication to the deceased kings while Buddhist monks chant, give a sermon and perform a requiem on the royal ashes of the deceased kings.
On 4 May, the Coronation Ceremonies begin with the proclamation of the Coronation Day read by the Chief of Brahmin priests followed by an evening chanting performed by Buddhist monks. Finally, 5 May is the actualdate of the ceremony in which food is to be offered to monks and followed by a celebration of the Royal Regalia. At noon the Army and Navy fire a 21-gun salute in honour of the king. On this day, His Majesty the King also presents the royal decorations to the people who have made a valuable contribution to the country.<top>
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony was probably, in the old times, the rite designed to remind the farmers and to give an auspicious beginning to the new planting season especially the rice farming that is the major source of food. The leader or the rulers of the country preside over the ceremony when the planting seasons begin.
His Majesty the King has been to the ceremony every year to preside this traditional royal ceremony and to make a wish for prosperity of Thai agriculture. His Majesty the King has conducted the experiment in planting rice in his personal rice
field in Chitrlada Villa, Dusit Palace, where he lives. After the harvesting, he kindly gave 40-50 kilograms of rice grains for the ceremony. The King's rice grains were separated into two portions. One is distributed into the ceremonial groundthe other is sent to provinces of Thailand and distributed to farmers for their auspicious believes and follows the King's wish to encourage and support the agriculture.
On Vesak Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha. As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently Vesak is celebrated in many different ways all over the world.
Celebration of a poet ommoner, Sunthorn Phu who broke from tradition by writing in more ordinary language and about less-elevated topics than previous writers.
"Asarnha Bucha" means paying homage and worshiping.
Asarnha Bucha Day (Asanha Puja Day) is a Buddhist festival which typically takes place in July, on the fifteenth day of the waxing moon of the eighth lunar month. It commemorates
the day on which Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon called “the Dhammachakapavattana Sutta” to his first five chief disciples more than two thousand five hundred years ago.
In this holy day, Buddhists all over the country observe the day by presenting offerings to the monks (to make merit), listening to the sermons, and performing ritual prayers. In addition, there are many activities in the family during this holiday such as cleaning the house and setting up an altar for religious ceremonies. Family members sometimes discuss problems in the family by taking the middle way as a guiding principle to abstain from sin and reduce the way of ruin.
Khao Phansa or The Buddhist Lent Day is a period of three lunar months during the rainy season when monks are
required to remain in one particular place or wat (temple). Khao Phansa Day. Phansa represents a time of renewed spiritual vigor and Khao Phansa festival is a major Buddhism merit-making festival. During the period monks should not venture out or spend the night in any other place except in an
emergency and, even then, their time away must not exceed seven consecutive nights. This is a time for contemplation and meditation for monk.
Thailand's Queen Sirikit's birthday on 12 August is a nationwide public holiday, celebrated in the whole Thai
Kingdom as Mother's Day. On this day, public buildings throughout Thailand are decorated with her portrait and garlanded with flowers and many colored lights. All around the country the Thai people, businesses and local organizations raise flags and portraits of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit.
As a National Tribute to the Thai Queen's contributions for the entire Thai population and especially the underprivileged in Thailand, 12 August has been declared the Nation's
National Mothers Day and a public holiday.
Chulalongkorn Day is the day that our King Chulalongkorn, or King Rama V, died. He is one of our most important kings in the past. The most important thing he did is abolish slavery (in 1905) but he also did many other reforms in order to modernize the country.
When he died on October 23, 1910 was a great loss to the entire nation. He was one of the most honored and beloved kings who were often called “Somdej Phra Piyamaharaj”. Thai people also believed in the King’s miraculous power of bringing good luck and prosperity to the person who pays respect to him. Today, the King’s picture is found in almost every house. Thai people from all walks of life lay wreaths at his equestrian statue at the Royal Plaza in Bangkok and his statues in the provinces.
Ok Phansa Day marks the end of the Buddhist lent and falls on the full moon of the eleventh lunar month. This is a day of joyful celebration and merit-making too. For Thai families, it is also the day they welcome a son back into the home and celebrate his successful completion of a term in the temple.
Two main important things will present to monks during Khao Pansa are the candles and garments worn by monks, especifically the bathing robe. The candles were essential in former times for both ceremonies and studying scriptures during night time. The large candles that are made and given to the temple to create illumination in the belief that such a gift will likewise illuminate the mind. The presentation of garments worn by monks is said to have originated from methods of bathing in former times commonly done in community areas using streams, rivers, ponds and other sources of water with monks requiring a bathing robe. The garments worn by monks continued to develop until the custom included presenting the entire arrangement worn by monks.
King Rama VI, the sixth King of the Chakri Dynasty, passed away on November 25, 1925. Each year ceremonies are held throughout Thailand in his memory.
HM King Vajiravudh was most remembered as a great writer in the Thai history. He wrote numerous poems, songs and plays. He also translated many foreign works into Thai.
As this King is regarded as the “Father of Thai Scouting”, schools all over the province took part in a special ceremony to celebrate his life and to remember the day he died.
In November some may wonder what is going on in Thailand when seeing travel magazine ads, posters at your hotel of Thai girls dressing in traditional Thai clothing with a beautiful floating object. In Thai, Loy means to float and Krathong means a circular floating object with decoration of banana
leaves, flowers, a candle and incense sticks.
The purposes of the ritual is to pay respect to the Goddess of the Water showing their gratitude on their plentiful use of
water and ask for forgiveness from the pollution. Floating the
beautiful Krathong away refers to flying away misfortune and bad things in the past and asking for good luck in the future. It is not a national holiday, but there are many activities in this festival, such as, contests of Krathong-making and Noppamas beauty pageants, local games, performances and fireworks.
His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great was born on December 5, 1927 to Prince Mahidol of Songkhla and Mom Sangwan. His Majesty is the ninth King of the Chakri Dynasty and the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Thailand.
His Majesty the King is well recognised as the heart and soul of the Thai nation. He is held in the high esteem not only by his own subjects, but His Majesty also commands enormous respect from people in all parts of the world.
On his birthday, which is observed as a National Holiday, all his subjects rejoice in demonstrating once more their affection and loyalty to him. Religious rites are held, houses and buildings are decorated with flags, lights and his portraits. The whole nation prays to the Holy Triple Gem and all the sacred things in the universe to bless His Majesty with good health and happiness and the strength to carry on his onerous task
Constitution Day which is held annually to commemorate the advent of the regime of Constitutional Monarchy in Thailand.
Previously, the government of Thailand was an absolute monarchy until June 24, 1932 there was a transition to
constitutional monarchy led by a group of young intellectuals educated abroad and inspired by the concept of western democratic procedures.
On Constitution Day, the entire nation is greeted with festivity. The government offices, private buildings and most high-rises are decorated with national flags and bunting and are brightly illuminated.
On this day, all Thai people express their gratitude to the king who graciously granted them an opportunity to take part in governing the country.
New Year's- January 1st. Originated in Israel in the 1500's
New Year's Eve:
In New York City, the 11875-pound (5,386-kg) 12-foot-diameter (3.7-meter) ball above Time Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 P.M. (the last minute of the year) and reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight, with fireworks and flashing lights with extensive media coverage. This event attracts about 1 million people each year. It is sometimes known as "the big apple".
New Year's Day
In the United States, it is a popular tradition to gather at beaches and run into the water. A Rose Bowl usually takes place on New Year's Day. Our National Hockey Association (NHL) holds a regular season game outdoors. In southern states, people cook collard greens or cabbage with black-eyed peas or pork for a year of good luck.
Valentine's Day- February 14th. Originated in france with Saint Valentinus was writing letters from jail to his love and signed them "your Valentine"
In the U.S., Valentine's Day is a holiday commemorating love for our family and friends. In schools, it is celebrated with people giving Valentines to each other (sometimes with candy). Outside of schools, family and friends send Valentines to their family and friends. Husbands usually get their wives special gifts including expensive chocolates and flowers.
Saint Patrick's Day- March 17th. Originated in Ireland when Saint Patrick came to Ireland and brought catholiscism. It celebrates the memory of his death.
In the United States, St. Patrick's day is celebrated by wearing green clothing, hats, and jewelry. St. Patrick's Day parades are often held in many towns and cities. People tend to become intoxicated during their celebrations. In Chicago, barrels of green dye are dumped into the Chicago River.
Earth Day- April 22nd. Originated in the 1800's when Gaylord Nelson tried to dedicate a day to the enviroment. Now its Earth Day and is on April 22nd
Earth Day is a holiday where people are especially environmentally friendly. Personally, I (Robert Hoskins) think that if everyone acted every day was Earth Day, our environment would be cleaner.
|1st New year's Day (Shogatsu)
second Monday Coming of Age Day
|February||11th National foundation Day|
|March||21st Vernal Equinox Day|
|April||29th Showa Day|
|May||3rd Constitution Day
4th Greenery Day
5th Children's Day
(3rd,4th and 5th are called Golden Week)
|3rd Monday Marine Day|
|August||H.M. The Queen's Birthday||
BUD BILLIKEN DAY
|3rd Monday Respect for Aged Day
23rd Autumne Day
|2nd Monday Hearth and Sports Day|
|3rd National curture Day
23rd Labor thanksgiving Day
|23rd The emperor's Birthday|