As a predominantly Buddhist country with rich ancient roots intertwined with royal traditions, Thailand honors a diverse array of cultural, seasonal, and national holidays each year. Beyond boisterous celebrations like Songkran bringing the nation’s streets alive with splashy merriment, more solemn days steeped in religion or monarchy also blanket cities in flags to commemorate respected kings who recently passed.
2024 offers another bright palette of public holidays for which government offices, banks, schools, and various businesses suspend operations so society can pay respect to holy days, crown momentous ceremonies, or relax into tranquil family time. Here’s an overview of the Thailand public holidays for 2024.
Thailand Public Holidays 2024
1) January 1: New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is the first day of the year according to the modern Gregorian calendar. It is a national public holiday in Thailand when government offices, banks, schools, and many businesses are closed. Many Thais celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31 with parties and fireworks displays.
On New Year’s Day, Thai families may clean their houses to symbolically clear away any bad luck from the previous year and make way for the new. Buddhists visit temples or make merit at the start of the year. Public spaces are filled with people making resolutions, celebrating, or simply enjoying the day off work
2)January 13, 2024 (Saturday) : National Children’s Day
National Children’s Day honors all children in Thailand. Schools and youth organizations across the country celebrate this day with special activities for kids. These can include festivals, shows, or educational events. Children are the center of attention for the day.
Students will receive gifts from their schools or parents. People also donate to charitable organizations that support children in need. The holiday promotes awareness of children’s values and human rights. Overall, Children’s Day serves as a joyful celebration of childhood for all kids in Thailand.
3)January 16, 2024 (Tuesday): Teachers’ Day
Teachers’ Day commemorates the work of instructors and professors across Thailand. The holiday honors teachers for their contributions to providing children and young adults with an education. Many schools and universities organize ceremonies or luncheons to recognize their faculty members.
Current and former students give gifts like flowers, cards, or other presents to pay respect to their teachers. Teacher’s Day is when the public acknowledges the vital role of educators in developing new generations and driving progress. Without dedicated teachers at all levels, Thai society could not thrive.
4)February 10, 2024 (Saturday): Lunar New Year’s Day
Lunar New Year’s Day marks the beginning of a new year, according to the lunisolar calendar. It falls on the first new moon between late January and mid-February. In Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries, the holiday is called Songkran. Festivities can last up to a week but officially commence on the first day of the lunar calendar. Thai Chinese people consider it the most important holiday of the year. Families gather, thoroughly clean their homes, settle debts, and pay respect to ancestors and deities for blessings in the new year. Common Lunar New Year traditions include wearing red clothing, gifting money in red envelopes, eating auspicious foods, and more.
5)February 11, 2024 (Sunday): Second Day of the Lunar New Year
The second day of the Lunar New Year continues the abundant feasts, celebrations, and family gatherings. More married daughters return to visit parents and relatives on this day. Some may also visit temples to pray for good fortune and health. People refrain from saying unlucky words and making negative statements to avoid spoiling the bright mood and hopes for the upcoming year. The second day solidifies the celebrations and focuses positive energies on successfully starting the lunar calendar.
6)February 12, 2024 (Monday) : Third Day of the Lunar New Year
As the mid-point of Lunar New Year festivities, the third day turns attention toward business prosperity. Families go vegetarian for the day, avoiding meat or killing animals to cleanse themselves spiritually. People may prepare and share vegetarian meals. Visiting temples continues as people pray to deities for economic and financial security in the months ahead. With high spirits and full bellies from previous feasts, the third Lunar New Year day transitions celebrations toward setting the tone for a stable and thriving new year.
7)February 24, 2024 (Saturday) : Makha Bucha
Magha Puja, or Makha Bucha, is Thailand’s third most important Buddhist festival after Visakha Bucha and Asalha Bucha. It commemorates a day over 2,500 years ago when 1,250 enlightened monks gathered spontaneously to hear Buddha recite the principles of Buddhism. These principles make up the Pali Canon’s main teachings.
On Makha Bucha today, Thai Buddhists will organize processions, light candles and incense, offer food to monks, listen to Buddhist teachings in temples, and make merit. In addition to its spiritual significance, Makha Bucha incorporates local cultural celebrations related to the full moon during the third lunar month.
8)February 26, 2024 (Monday) : Day off for Makha Bucha
This holiday marks an extra public day off following Makha Bucha. Government offices, banks, and some businesses will close. Many use this day to continue religious observances or celebrations related to Makha Bucha. Devout Buddhists may bring offerings to temples. Meanwhile, others take advantage of sales at stores and malls or relax with friends and family. With schools closed, families may also organize short trips together.
9)March 20, 2024 (Wednesday) : March Equinox
The March or spring equinox marks the precise start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal at 12 hours long everywhere on Earth. It signifies increasing sunlight and new beginnings following winter. The Meteorological Department of Thailand may calculate the exact equinox timing to the minute. While not an official public holiday, the March equinox carries cultural and spiritual meaning. For example, Buddhists recognize it as the start of the three-month period between the cold and hot seasons traditionally observed by monks.
10)April 6, 2024 (Saturday) : Chakri Day
Chakri Day commemorates the Chakri Dynasty, founded in 1782. It honors the legacy of kings named Rama who reigned over Thailand up to the current king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, or Rama X. On Chakri Day, King Vajiralongkorn and royal family members preside over ceremonies, processions, and military displays at royal venues.
These celebrate and demonstrate the continued strength and devotion of the armed forces, government, and Thai citizens toward the monarchy. Public buildings and homes across Thailand proudly display portraits of King Bhumibol and King Vajiralongkorn to mark the occasion.
11) April 8, 2024 (Monday) : Day off for Chakri Day
This holiday provides Thais with an extra public day off following Chakri Day to relax with friends and family. People may also use this day to continue respecting to the Chakri Dynasty legacy. Some activities include visiting sites significant to previous Thai kings or reflecting on the monarchic history that helped shape the nation. With schools and workplaces closed, Thai cities tend to be quieter on this day.
12)April 13, 2024 (Saturday) : Songkran Day 1
According to the solar calendar, Songkran signifies the first day of the traditional Thai New Year. Sometimes called the Water Festival, Songkran transforms Thailand’s streets and temples into joyful venues for sacred rituals and rambunctious nationwide water fights. Families spring clean their homes and offer food to monks in the early morning.
Afterward, they gather to pour fragrant water over statues of Buddha at the temple and the hands of elders. This symbolizes purification and the washing away one’s sins and bad luck. The country erupts into the world’s largest water party in the afternoon as crowds douse strangers and passersby. Songkran infuses Thai culture with infectious merriment during the hottest month of the year.
13)April 14, 2024 (Sunday) : Songkran Day 2
The watery revelry continues on Songkran’s second day. After visiting temples or observing other morning religious rituals, Thai families spend afternoons splashing more water on each other for good fortune going into the New Year. Kids take over the streets with water guns or buckets, cooling themselves while drenching tourists and volunteers. Old and young share the fun. In some areas, foam parties bring bright, bubbly suds into the mix. Locals set out food and drinks on sidewalks for anyone needing refreshments. Unbridled joy rings loud as water bonds the nation.
14)April 15, 2024 (Monday) : Songkran Day 3
On its last official day, Songkran maintains its boisterous energy and customs for bringing good luck. Early risers may release fish or birds back into nature as acts of merit-making. Elders bless younger family members blessings by gently pouring fragrant water infused with flowers over their shoulders.
Parades, beauty pageants, sandcastle-building competitions, and lively music carry celebrations late into the night. Saying “sawasdee pi mai” or “happy new year” and working to spread happiness dominates farewells until next year’s holiday. Songkran concludes with Thailand cheerfully celebrating relationships and hope.
15)April 16, 2024 (Tuesday) : Songkran Observed
This holiday gives extra time for enjoying Songkran festivities or recuperating after several intense days of celebrations. Most people already return to work or school, but banks, government offices, and some businesses stay closed. Lingering celebrations continue in more relaxed forms. Devotees making merit fill temples while the streets clear out. Families share leftover feasts at home or take leisurely trips to the beach. The observed holiday allows the New Year’s joy to settle while packing away decorations in anticipation of upcoming events.
16)May 1, 2024 (Wednesday) : Labor Day
Labor Day, or May Day, recognizes the contributions and rights of Thailand’s workforce nationwide. Major cities host marches or gatherings by trade unions, student groups, and activists to advocate for labor rights reforms. Political speeches and rallies raise awareness for improving income, welfare, safety, and skills training across both white- and blue-collar fields.
Labor Day seeks to amplify marginalized workers’ voices against exploitation. While it is not an official government public holiday, many private companies and labor organizations treat it as a special non-working day for employees. People generally spend it celebrating recent victories or the goals still being fought for better work standards.
17)May 4, 2024 (Saturday) : Coronation Day
Coronation Day commemorates King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun’s ascension to the throne on May 4th, 2019. Also called Royal Coronation Day, the holiday honors Thailand’s current King Rama X. Grand festivities span several days in Bangkok, near the Grand Palace complex.
On Mondays, the public also partakes by installing official Coronation Day lanterns outside homes or wearing yellow shirts, the color representing the revered late king Bhumibol’s birthday. Events feature ceremonies steeped in ancient royal traditions alongside military processions demonstrating the King’s legitimacy as Dharmikaraja, a virtuous protector of Buddhism and the Thai people. Coronation Day reinforces enduring bonds between the monarchy and its citizens.
18)May 6, 2024 (Monday) : Day off for Coronation Day
This holiday offers an extra public day off following Coronation Day to spend time with family relaxing at home. People may also use it to continue showing loyalty toward King Vajiralongkorn after recent Coronation events. Some visit sites important to the Chakri dynasty or reflect on the monarchic history that helped shape Thailand. With schools and workplaces closed, cities become quieter for citizens to enjoy the summer weather.
19)May 6, 2024 (Monday) : Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient Brahmin ritual adapted by Thai Buddhists to mark the traditional start of the rice-growing season. Held annually at Sanam Luang, near Bangkok’s Grand Palace, the event’s astrological readings by court Brahmins are said to predict rainfall and harvests nationwide. Highly revered members of the Thai Royal Family preside over ceremonies blessing farmers with prosperity. Commoners offer food to monks, decorate oxen with garlands, and use symbolic grains from the field rituals to plant crops. The public holiday allows citizens to receive blessings by witnessing age-old traditions invoking fertility on their land.
20)June 3, 2024 (Monday) : Queen Suthida’s Birthday
This public holiday celebrates the birthday of Queen Suthida, King Vajiralongkorn’s royal consort. As the Thai monarchy remains highly respected, royal birthdays signify important national events. Thais hang commemorative flags and portraits of Queen Suthida outside homes or buildings to honor Her Majesty. Government offices, banks, and schools close, while some businesses postpone openings.
On this day, Queen Suthida carries out official duties alongside King Vajiralongkorn. They appear on palace balconies to formally greet the gathered crowds who come to offer well wishes on the Queen’s special day.
21)June 21, 2024 (Friday) : June Solstice
The June solstice demarcates the first official day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. On the longest day and shortest night of 2024, Thailand continues heading toward peak hot season. The sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky. Thailand sees upwards of 13 hours of total daylight on the June solstice.
The event carries cultural and spiritual gravitas, even if it is not an official holiday. June 21st aligned with ancient agricultural and celestial milestones across many societies. In Buddhism, it marks the start of Vassa, the three-month annual rain retreat for monks. The solstice represents harmony between light and darkness.
22)July 20, 2024 (Saturday) : Buddhist Lent Day
Asanha Bucha Day honors the Buddha’s first sermon, delivered shortly after attaining enlightenment on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month. Also, heralding the start of Vassa, or Buddhist lent, laypeople will take refuges and the Eight Precepts at temples, like monks do daily, to give up bad habits for three months.
Devotees light candles and incense, make offerings to temples, and attend sermons about the seminal Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta teaching. Following strict religious principles during the Asanha Bucha and Vassa seasons is thought to bring practitioners happiness and atonement.
23)July 22, 2024 (Monday) : Day off for Buddhist Lent Day
This holiday offers citizens time off to continue meritorious activities related to Asanha Bucha Day. Devout Buddhists may attend more services, prayer sessions, Dhamma talks, or bring offerings to temples. Meanwhile, others choose to relax at home with family and friends or enjoy Thailand’s natural scenery on brief trips away from cities. With schools and workplaces closed after the important religious occasion, the streets remain peaceful allowing people to reset their mindsets for the period of moral discipline ahead.
24)July 28, 2024 (Sunday) : King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday
Also known as King Rama X’s birthday, this public holiday celebrates the birth of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, Thailand’s current monarch since 2016. National celebrations span several days around July 28th. Buildings, streets, and public spaces prominently decorate portraits and banners depicting Thailand’s widely revered king.
On Mondays, citizens wear yellow shirts representing the late King Bhumibol on Mondays as an additional sign of devotion. Official ceremonies occur at royal venues like the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang Square. King Vajiralongkorn grants public appearances, delivering speeches for audiences wishing him a long life and prosperity on his special day.
25)July 29, 2024 (Monday): Day off for King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday
This holiday offers extended time off following King Vajiralongkorn’s Birthday for relaxation or ongoing displays of loyalty. Although most people return to work or school, banks and some businesses stay closed. Festivities may continue for a few days in more relaxed forms. Government buildings keep bountiful decorations from over the weekend as royal portraits span out from Bangkok through smaller towns. Without immense crowds, citizens casually congregate wearing yellow at sites important to the monarchy or enjoy the King’s birthday at home over meals with yellow foods.
26)August 12, 2024 (Monday): The Queen’s Birthday
Also called Mother’s Day, this public holiday celebrates the birthdays of Queen Regent Sirikit and Queen Mother Sirikit Kitthiyakorn (honoring deceased past queens). Cities decorate buildings with portraits of beloved Queen Sirikit flanked by flags, garlands, and lights. People wear pink shirts – the Queen’s color – on Mondays to show devotion.
Her Majesty performs official duties and grants formal public appearances over several days, greeting crowds who come to wish her well from across Thailand. As mother figures for the nation, Queens represent not just royalty but boundless maternal wisdom and love within families that all Thais pay tribute to.
27)September 22, 2024 (Sunday): September Equinox
The September equinox marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere as day and night lengths equalize again worldwide. People recognize the equinox’s allegorical representation of balance, equality, harmony, or transition. In Thailand, the event carries cultural and spiritual symbolism, even if it is not a public holiday. The Meteorological Department may announce the exact equinox timing while some citizens reflect on its meaning. September 21 aligns with the original agricultural calendars guiding East Asian societies. In Buddhism, the equinox also culminates in Vassa’s three-month rain retreats for monastics to reset their spiritual journeys.
28)October 13, 2024 (Sunday): Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol
This somber public holiday honors the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on October 13, 2016, after 70 years as Thailand’s head of state. Also called Wan Chaloem, or “Day the King Ascended,” events commemorate the monarch beloved to many citizens as the Royal Father. People don black attire and make merit offerings at temples.
Venues significant to the late King Bhumibol feature subdued musical performances, candle lightings, or flower offerings by officials in white uniforms. Following an unprecedented year of mourning ending in 2017, the anniversary continues to memorialize King Bhumibol’s legacy of national stability, humility, and self-sufficiency ideals.
29)October 14, 2024 (Monday): Day off for the Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol
This holiday offers extended time off following the anniversary of the beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s passing for continued remembrance rituals. Banks and some businesses remain closed, while government offices, schools, and public venues keep decorations commemorating the well-respected monarch.
Citizens may bring offerings like flowers and incense to publicly display memorials, condolence books, or black and white photographs of ‘Father’ King Bhumibol. Others reflect in subtly by dressing in mourning colors, listening to royal compositions, or donating to foundations in his majestic name, benefiting disadvantaged Thais.
30)October 23, 2024 (Wednesday): Chulalongkorn Day
Chulalongkorn Day honors the late King Chulalongkorn the Great’s reign, ending absolute monarchy with progressive reforms and earning Thailand semi-autonomy from Europeans. Often called Rama V, his birthday on October 23 is commemorated with displays of royal portraits in public spaces, much like other significant Thai kings.
Officials in uniform make flower offerings at major Bangkok monuments like the Royal Equestrian Statue while school kids parade civic flags through the streets. As one of Thailand’s most influential modern monarchs, King Chulalongkorn Day celebrates lasting cultural identity, international relations, and infrastructural achievements to develop Siam toward global integration.
31)October 31, 2024 (Thursday): Halloween
Although not originating from Thailand, Halloween’s spooky themes and costumes have emerged more through recent pop culture. Young people in cities use the occasion for playful fright nights like celebrations worldwide. Malls, shops, restaurants, hotels, and amusement parks decorate party venues or offer special promotions, capitalizing on market demand. Trick-or-treating also takes place within closed housing communities and expat neighborhoods.
Overall, Halloween remains a niche event next to domestic occasions in October. Most Thais carry on customary activities for their beloved past King Chulalongkorn Day instead.
32)December 5, 2024 (Thursday): King Bhumibol’s Birthday/Father’s Day
Also celebrated as national Father’s Day, December 5 honors the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s birthday, whom many Thais revered as Royal Father during his reign. People wear yellow shirts on Mondays, and buildings fly flags to celebrate the longest-ruling monarch’s life. Offerings are made at Bangkok’s Grand Palace, the location of King Bhumibol’s golden statue.
Well-wishing ceremonies play royal anthems as officials bow to portraits of Rama IX, emphasizing his legacy as a guiding light for Thailand’s unity and progress. From reverent commemorations to casual family beach trips on Father’s Day, all citizens express gratitude.
33)December 10, 2024 (Tuesday): Constitution Day
Constitution Day celebrates Thailand’s governance by constitutional law rather than absolute rulership. The current Constitution originated from reforms after a peaceful 1932 revolution, transitioning power to a constitutional monarchy.
To honor the day, buildings raise Thai flags while government officials perform ceremonies at monuments, symbolizing democracy’s victory. Schools educate students on civic duties to uphold laws aligned with Buddhist principles of righteousness. Constitution Day promotes continued public discussion, participation, and engagement toward equal, ethical laws benefiting all Thais.
34)December 21, 2024 (Saturday): December Solstice
The December solstice demarcates winter’s arrival in Thailand’s northern hemisphere as the year’s shortest day and longest night. The gradual increase in sunlight afterward symbolically aligns with spiritual renewal. While not a public holiday, the solstice carries cultural significance as people worldwide recognize the astronomy behind seasons since ancient civilizations.
In Thailand, December 21 coincided with the original Lunisolar calendars that traditionally guided farmers in timing their first harvests. Some Buddhists also observe the date as the end of the three-month rain retreat season for monastics to recommit spiritual progress.
35)December 24, 2024 (Tuesday): Christmas Eve
Leading up to Christmas several days later, Christmas Eve emerges more through commercial interests than religious ones in predominantly Buddhist Thailand. Malls and hotels in major cities decorate glittering trees or festive lights targeting tourism and sales. Luxury establishments host special dinners or holiday shows. Even with caroling, gift exchanges, or parties, Christmas Eve is not a public holiday for the general working population. However, hotels catering to foreign crowds contribute to holiday spirit and sentimentality.
36)December 25, 2024 (Wednesday): Christmas Day
Although Christmas Day is a regular working day rather than an official public holiday in Thailand, many private malls and multinational corporate offices close on this day. Operations resume as normal on December 26. Major cities like Bangkok host parades, performances, or events at popular shopping plazas with ornamental displays, reindeer costumes, artificial snow, or in-mall sleigh rides. Christmas appeals through commercial pop culture more than among local Buddhists. However, they admire its themes of generosity, miracles, and bringing families together.
37)December 30, 2024 (Monday): New Year Special Public Holiday
The last public holiday in 2024 offers Thais substitute days off, usually falling on weekends. It grants extra time between post-Christmas and upcoming New Year’s- Day-related celebrations. Families relax at home, binge-watching beloved imported and Thai television specials from the holiday season together. Luxury hotels and beachside resorts also capitalize by promoting end-of-year stays with countdown parties slated for the following night on New Year’s Eve. The pleasant intermission lets everyone catch their breath before starting 2025.
38)December 31, 2024 (Tuesday): New Year’s Eve
New Year celebrations extend for days, culminating in lively New Year’s Eve parties, fireworks displays, and cultural events nationwide. Major city centers like Bangkok host rhythmic electronic music countdown concerts at arena venues while projecting light shows on massive tower buildings. Trendy riverside bars or glitzy rooftop restaurants offer special dinners and drinks. Groups of friends splurge on extravagant packages at luxury hotels.
Free public gatherings also blast pop music and release balloons at midnight before magnificent fireworks. The next morning marks a new national holiday again for New Year’s Day on January 1st, 2025.
Altogether, Thailand sets aside at least 16 national public holidays over 2024 for merrymaking, solemnity, or reviving spirits during distinct occasions. Beyond predictable annual celebrations rotational on set dates, additional days flexibly shift from weeks to years to commemorate ceremonies like coronations, royal birthdays, or senior royal family members’ passing away.
Further spontaneous government announcements may declare extra holidays for ceremonies related to King Rama X so people can proudly adorn streets with royal insignia. However, creative fringe festivals also increasingly pepper usual calendar spots, allowing Thailand’s holidays to fluidly bridge both glorious past and promising future as the culture progresses with the times while still championing faith, family and timeless customs binding the Kingdom together through generations. Do consider these events and holidays when applying for Thailand visa from Dubai, so that you can make the most of your trip and avoid last-minute disappointments.