On Tuesday, the cabinet approved 8 special holidays for next year, including regional ones, to stimulate tourism.
Deputy government spokesperson, Traisuree Taisaranakul, said Friday 12th February would be a Lunar New Year holiday, which is not normally an official one.
Monday 12th April will be another Songkran holiday 27th July, another Monday, will be a holiday in lieu of Buddhist Lent Day.
Another holiday to be observed for the first time next year is Prince Mahidol Day on 24th September. Prince Mahidol, the King’s grandfather, is recognised as the father of modern medicine in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the holiday in lieu of Chulalongkorn Day on Saturday 23rd October is moved to Friday 22nd October from Monday 25th October.
Regional holidays next year, approved for the first time, are 26th March in the North for worshippers of Buddha relics, 10th May in the Northeast for the Boon Bang Fai rocket festival, 6th October in the South for the Tenth Lunar Month Festival to make merit for ancestors’ spirits and 21st October in the Central Plains in lieu of the end of Buddhist Lent.
The new holidays are aimed at stimulating tourism. Heads of government and private organisations can decide if they will observe the special holidays or not in a way that would not affect their operations, Miss Taisaranakul said.
While Ms Taisaranakul did not give details at this stage, some of the approved holidays, including weekends, create a long holiday in February (3 days), in April (6 days), in July (5 days) and in October (3 days).
Financial institutions and the stock exchange normally use the Bank of Thailand’s calendar, which generally does not have as many long holidays due to concerns about financial disruption.