HISTORY OF THE NEW YEAR IN THAILAND

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The traditional Thai New Year Day started to change from April 1st about 124 years ago (from the Thai year of 2432) onwards.  For many people especially the rural areas New Year is still part of the festival of Songkran.

In the year 2484 (70 years ago) the government more formally adopted January 1st as New Year’s Day with April 1st being known as Songkran Day.

Why did the government change New Year’s Day?
1. Not inconsistent with Buddhism.
2. It brings out how a Brahmin came across the Buddhist doctrine.
3. The international level of use in countries around the world.
4. To refresh the culture, ideology and customs of the Thai nation.

Activities for Thai people on New Year’s Day:
To earn merit; either at home or to go to temples or places where they may be invited.
Give respect to elders and greet friends.

Deliver bouquets of flowers or send a greeting card.

Decorating the Buddha with flags.

Clean the house

Recognise those who have passed away during the year.

New Year’s Day is regarded as a great opportunity to review the past and to change what has happened for the better.

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