When many people plan their perfect December holiday to Thailand, they have one question on their mind. Does Thailand celebrate Christmas and New Year?
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While we lived in Thailand, we got the opportunity to learn more about the locals and their ways. Thailand is mostly a Buddhist country since more than 95% of the locals practise Theravada Buddhism. Buddhism arrived in Thailand from Sri Lanka and became the dominant religion in Thailand in the 12th century.
Buddhism is different from many other religions. It doesn’t focus on the relationship between humanity and God. Buddhists don’t believe in a supreme God, but rather focus on reaching a state of enlightenment. The founder of Buddhism is referred to as the Buddha. He is considered to be an extraordinary man but isn’t seen as a god. The word Buddha means enlightened. Many Buddhists see this as a way of life rather than a religion. To achieve enlightenment, you have to change your way of life. If you want to read more about this religion, read the link below:
By understanding more about their religion, it’s clear that not many of the locals believe in the traditional holiday that’s celebrated worldwide by Christians known as Christmas. Even though they might not believe in the origin of this day or the reason why many celebrate it, they do enjoy celebrating Christmas. We have celebrated Christmas in Thailand for two years now. We can say from personal experience that if you are planning to spend Christmas in Thailand, you won’t be disappointed.
On the first of December, we started hearing Christmas songs playing in the shopping malls, and Christmas lights started to fill the streets. We felt the joy of Christmas spreading across the whole country. As the days go by, and it gets closer to Christmas, big Christmas trees start to pop up in shopping malls and other shops. Locals start to dress up in Christmas attire, and you can see some employees singing and dancing to Christmas carols.
Bangkok is one of the major cities in Thailand to spend Christmas. Every year they get more and more unique with the decorations and lights. The locals might not believe in Christmas, but they do try to make it as special as possible for everyone. Christmas day, however, isn’t an official public holiday in Thailand. Surprisingly, most companies do have Christmas parties and participate in gift-giving. After Christmas, there are only a few days before New Years. Like in many other countries, this is a time to celebrate.
Thailand follows a different calendar and thus has their own New Year’s day, which they celebrate in the middle of April. The Thai new year is Songkran and is one of the most important festivals in Thailand. Songkran means to move into or to pass. Songkran is the most fun festival that you will ever participate in, in Thailand. The streets fill up with locals and foreigners that’s throwing water over themselves and others. They use the water to cleanse themselves of all the bad things that they don’t want to bring into the New Year with them and it symbolize fertility. Even though the locals in Thailand have their own amazing New Year to celebrate, they do celebrate Western New Years. It is even an official public holiday across Thailand.
We have celebrated new years in Thailand in two of the most touristy places in the country, 2019 in Pattaya and 2020 in Bangkok. 2019 in Pattaya was our first new years eve in Thailand. We decided to go to the famous walking street. It’s busy with people. You can participate in competitions and enjoy a fifteen-minute firework show. It was one of the craziest nights of our lives. If you want to know more about our new years in Pattaya read the blog below:
❥Also Read: Celebrate New Year in Pattaya City
Our second new years eve we celebrated in Bangkok. We learned so much for our new year’s celebration in Pattaya and decided to do things a little bit smarter. Bangkok were surprisingly quiet. Most of the locals decided to celebrate the new years in other provinces. We decided to see where is the craziest event that is the closest to our hotel. We came across an ad for CentralWorld and went there. However, there were events all over Bangkok. We took the sky train there and bought our return ticket on arrival so we can miss the ques later. They block the roads off in front of the mall, so we can enjoy the local performers and fireworks.
To get back to the main question, does Thailand celebrate Christmas and New Years?
The answer is yes they do, and it will be a Christmas and New Years that you will remember forever.
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