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