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Public Holidays in Thailand

Can you imagine Easter without a glass of wine or Christmas without a few beers? I'm not an alcoholic or anything and until I came to Thailand honestly I never really drank very often but it's so easy and cheap to go out in Thailand that it's become quite a habit. Still when the public holidays roll in especially the holidays with a religious meaning in Thailand the pubs go dark and every liquor store closes down.

I tried to research to see if it was always like this or not but the information out there was pretty scarce it probably was. Thailand is a Buddhist nation and one of the core rules in Buddhism is to not take any mind altering substances. I'm not sure if smoking is mind altering or not, I've seen more than a few monks smoking, since it's habit forming I would think it is habit forming therefore altering the mind, guess even monks have trouble quiting as well.

The law states you can't buy or sell alchohol but you can still drink it as long as it's not in public. I know a bunch of shops that still sell drinks under the table fit them in brown paper bags and look over their shoulder as they sell them. Actually I got a drink last night and felt like I was 16 buying grog on a fake ID.

public holidays in thailand

There are many days in Thailand where the government forces the pubs to close and for anyone to who gets caught selling liquor will go to jail. These days are as follows:

Makha Bucha Day
Chakri Day
Coronation Day
Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day
Visakha Bucha Day
Arsarnha Bucha Day
Buddhist Lent Day
Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday
King Chulalongkorn Memorial Day
His Majesty the King's Birthday
Constitution Day

But that's not all! Noooo When there is an election on the local, state, or national level the pubs in you're area will close as well! This can go on for another 2 or more days!

Is it me or do these holidays always seem to fall on a damn weekend. I appreciate that people get into the Buddhist holidays go to the temple sit and meditate and do all that but what about the rest of us who arn't really religious don't go to AA meetings and are ready to party.

That's another thing too, parties, Thai people throw terrible parties if they do at all, I remember doing house parties all the time in the States and OZ but here no one has a party everyone just goes to the club. Where are the wisakabusha day parties at home with 50 friends getting sloshed and the cops being called? In fact have you ever been to a party in Thailand where the cops arrived to break it up? Only party here were I saw cops come because they were invited too! What's up with that?

For the Thai's it's not so bad they have family to go see for the holidays but for us farang who don't have family living here what else is there to do on a public holiday? I love living in Thailand but I'm so glad I don't have a regular job here because when you work you live for the holidays and when the holidays come around here there is nowhere to go.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

7 Responses to Public Holidays in Thailand

  1. Taven August 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi Chris- Just got home from a great trip to Thailand (Pattaya and Chiang Mai), and I noticed that a lot of bars on Beach Road in Pattaya were closed on August 2. One local said it was “Monk’s Day” and another said something about the “Full Moon Festival”. What was the actual holiday?

  2. TylerB August 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    You could always have a couple bottles of Whiskey sitting in the cupbard for such days. Can even fill the fridge with beer the day before. It is always good to plan ahead.lol

  3. Johnnie Walker August 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Or you could even, shock horror, just have a day off the booze and give your liver a welcome break.

    However, I do think it crazy closing all bars in the tourist areas such as Pattaya, Soi Cowboy, Pat Pong, etc. What percentage of Thai are drinking in those places?

  4. Sam August 8, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    “I’m not sure if smoking is mind altering or not, I’ve seen more than a few monks smoking, since it’s habit forming I would think it is habit forming therefore altering the mind”

    With respect, I think your mind needs altering, Chris.

    • Chris August 8, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      I alter it every day 🙂

  5. peter August 27, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    luv the nipple slip in the photo

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