The tourists who went to
Thailand observed that the Thailand calendar is
different than theirs.
Thais use the calendar
that shows the Buddhist Era, counting the years
since Buddha got into Nirvana.
Predating the Christian
Era by 543 years, according to the Thailand calendar
the year 2011 is actually 2554. The system of the
solar calendar was adopted by Thailand in the 1880s
for the Western calendar synchronization; despite
this, the New Year started with April the 1 st till
1941, when the New Year started on January the 1 st.
Buddhist Christian Era
and Buddhist Era are shown by the Thailand calendars
as well as the dates that calculates the lunar
months, belonging to the old system.
The lunar months don’t
fit solar the solar calendar. The November month,
for example, although it is the 11 th month of the
year it’s actually the 12 th lunar
The lunar Thailand calendar is used because all the Buddhist
festivals and holidays are based on this calendar. From the
lunar calendar the Thais find in which day is the ‘wan phra’,
Loy Krathong, Khao Phansa and the holy day.
King Rama V (Chulalongkorn) adopted the Thailand
solar calendar in 1888. Suriyakati is the Thai name
of this calendar and is the Gregorian calendar’s
Siamese version. Although the lunar calendar is
still used, the solar Thailand calendar is the
The Christian Era is included in the calendars in
Arabic and Chinese numerals.
The public holidays and the Sundays are marked by
the red numerals and the Wan Phra (the Thai
Sabbaths) are marked by Buddha red images.
Chinese calendar’s full and new moons are marked by
the white Chinese characters on red tablets.
are also the drawings of the national lottery marked
by blue figures in order to predict the number for
the last 2 digit and 3 digit prizes (for example,
538 on the April 19 th , 078 on April 15 th and so
The dates of the Thailand lunar calendar are below the dates
of the solar calendar. Currently, January 1 st (the New
Year’s Day of the Common Era)
and the celebration of Songkran (the traditional New
Year in Thailand) are both public holidays in the
land of smiles. April 13 is the date when the
Chinese zodiacal animal changes, in the traditional
Thailand calendar. The Chinese communities from
Thailand use the Chinese calendar that determines in
which day their New Year begins; from this calendar
they also can assume the next animal’s name. The
Thailand lunar calendar is also known as the Tai
calendar, the Dai calendar and the Patithin
Chantharakhati – which literally means ‘against the
sun moon days). This calendar is the Thai version of
the Buddhist calendar that used in countries from
the South-East Asia such as Burma, Laos and
It is used to
calculate the holy days and is based on the Hindu Calendar
Surya Siddhanta from the 3 rd century. In these countries
the solar calendar and the lunar calendar are combined for a
nominal 12 months year.