Increase or decrease font size for easier reading :
The New Year's Eve
(วันสิ้นปี) and the 1st January
(วันขื้นปีใหม่) are public
holidays in Thailand. It is the occasion for religious and festive events.
On New Year's Eve, Thai people go to Thai Buddhist temples to make merit
(free birds, fishes...)
and give donations (offer buckets, money, rent Buddha statues...).
They also come to listen to Dharma speeches told by monks.
This advertisement in front of a temple announces
"the end of year is coming and welcome to new year 2546".
It invites to do good actions such as freeing fish, freeing
birds, doing alms,
giving a coin in 108 bowls in order to repair the old
Two molam concerts are happening on 31st December and
Famous Thai temples often organize feats to attract visitors and donators.
Temples near rivers might organise boat contests.
For New Year holiday, many Thai people
go back to their home in Thai provinces. Bangkok has lost its traffic jams
for a few days. It is
recommended to book bus in case of trip. Thai police also made many controls as
casualties are numerous due to alcohol abuses.
In the New Year period 2002/2003,
a total of 514 people lost their lives
and 29,485 were injured in road accidents around the country.
Many of these accidents come from drunk-driving.
The flowers on the boat's prow are supposed to give luck to the team.
Many Thai people also organize evening feasts
for New Year's Eve. Often Thai people go from one feast to another.
At midnight and during the following days, everybody greets each other with the
saying "SAWATDEE PI MAI" (สวัสดีปีใหม่),
i.e. happy new year!
In the evening, there might be a music concert organized in the temple compound.
In Isan area
orchestra music is "LUUK THUNG" (ลูกทุ่ง) or
Most Thai people don't celebrate Christmas. In Bangkok
during Christmas, shopping centers are decorated with trees and snow. For New Year's Eve,
Thai people offer gifts.
During the Buddhist sermon, some laymen and laywomen prepare the trays
dedicated to the monks.
On the 1st January morning, Thai people go to Buddhist temples
to listen to the Dharma and make donations to the monks.
After the Buddhist ceremony, everybody leave the temple.
A new day is starting but it is the first day of a new year.
For the new year first Buddhist sermon, Thai people are smarter and
wear their most elegant clothes.