Friday Five

Five Favorite Thai Holidays

Royal Ploughing Day
Thailand is full of totally random days and this is a perfect example. Hitting in the beginning of May, in close correspondence with Constitution Day, and without much significance to Thais, Ploughing Day is a good time to travel for PCVs. It happened to coincide with the weekend and Constitution Day last year, so I had a free four-day vacation which I gladly took for my first solo travel in Thailand to the beautiful beaches in Krabi. I’ll always look at Ploughing Day with a knowing smile and a hopeful eyes set on a new location to visit.

Children’s Day
I like Children’s Day because for one day, kids get to rule the roost and adults have to cater to them. In a society that values hierarchy highly (giggle), it’s a real day of letting loose for children. I spent this year’s at my 122’s site and had a really enjoyable time in her amphur’s celebration. So many activities, games, and laughs for those youngsters. I was glad I got to put some smiles on faces.

Queen/King’s Birthdays
Can you imagine getting a day off and a week-long celebration for the figurehead of your country? That’s what Thailand does. Because the Queen and King are considered the Mother and Father of Thai people, Mother’s and Father’s Day are decided according to the birthdays of the current royalty. Falling in August (Queen) and December (King), they provide nice little breaks from school and usually some excitement around the moo-bahn. For the King’s birthday last year, we had a carnival, concert, and big lantern send-off for his good health.

Loi Kratong
You make a little bamboo boat. You decorate it with flowers. You light incense. You make a wish. You send it off into the water. I had so much fun making my kratong and enjoyed the sense of community I felt while we all gathered together and sent them off into the water with our hopes for the next year. It only comes second to…

Song Kran
April is usually the hottest month in the hottest season in Thailand. Naturally the Thais come up with a solution to have a holiday that is a country-wide, three-day water fight. Song Kran is the traditional Thai new year and is celebrated by ‘cleansing the spirit’ by doing some spring cleaning and dousing water on people. There’s usually a lot of wet baby powder involved. So, in celebration of Song Kran, starting today, get your water guns out and give anyone you see a spray!

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