Thai solar calendar

Thai solar calendar

The Thai solar calendar, Suriyakati ( _th. สุริยคติ), has been the official and prevalent calendar in Thailand since it was adopted by King Chulalongkorn in 1888, although the Western calendar year is sometimes used in business, and quite often in banking.

Thai calendars show both the Buddhist Era (BE, _th. พุทธศักราช "Phuttasakarat"), abbreviated "Pho So" ( _th. พ.ศ.); and the Christian Era ( _th. คริสต์ศักราช, "kritsakarat") , abbreviated "Kho So" ( _th. ค.ศ.). They also show Chinese numerals for the Common Era and Chinese Lunar dates. As lunar dates determine Buddhist Sabbaths ( _th. วันพระ "Wan Phra"), as well as many Chinese traditional festivals, both lunar calendar and Chinese lunar dates are shown.

*A Buddha image marks Thai Sabbaths, "Wan Pra"; a red tablet bearing white Chinese characters marks New and Full Moons as calculated in China.
*Scrawled blue figures (in this example "078" on the 15th and, above left, "538" on the 19th and "2576" on the 31st) mark dates national lottery numbers were drawn.
*Lunar dates and the year's Animal are recorded on Thai birth certificates after the official date. The Thai reckon their ages by the Twelve-Animal sequence, though the official calendar determines age at law; as, for instance, the Queen's Birthday, August 12, a public holiday also celebrated as Thai Mothers' Day.

The months and days of the week are the same as those used in the western Gregorian calendar. Names of the months derive from Hindu names of the signs of the zodiac. Days of the week are named after the Sun and Moon, and translations of the names of the five classical planets. The year is counted from the Buddhist Era (B.E.), which is 543 years earlier than the Christian Era (A.D.). For example, A.D. 2007 is equivalent to 2550 B.E. The era is based on the passing away (Parinibbana) of Gautama Buddha, which is dated to 543 BC by the Thai (although some sources state that Buddha died in 483 BC). It is important to remember that only from January 1, 1941 onwards does this 543 addition/subtraction rule work perfectly — see below.

The calendar, decreed by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), was called "Ratana Kosindra Sok" ( _th. รัตนโกสินทรศก), and was nearly identical with the western Gregorian calendar. Year counting, however, was in reference of the date of the founding of Bangkok (Ratana Kosindra), April 6 1782 (the first day of Year 1 Ratana Kosindra Era ( _th. รัตนโกสินทร์ศักราช), abbr. ( _th. ร.ศ.) ro so). King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) changed the year counting to Buddhist Era in 1912 and fixed the start of a year to April 1.

In 1941 (2484 B.E.) as World War II loomed on the horizon, Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram per decree made January 1 the official start of a new year (so year 2483 B.E. had only nine months). When converting a date prior to that year, check whether it falls between January 1 and March 31: if so the number to add or subtract is 542, not 543.

Today, both the Common Era New Year's Day (January 1) and the traditional "Songkran" ( _th. สงกรานต์) celebrations (April 13-April 15) are public holidays on the official calendar. Public holidays on the official calendar for Buddhist and Chinese feasts, including Chinese New Year, are still calculated according to the lunar calendar, so their dates change with respect to the solar calendar every year.

Thirty-day-month names end with _th. -อายน -ayon, which is from the Sanskrit root -āyana, meaning "the arrival of"; 31-day-month names with _th. -อาคม -akhom, which is from Sanskrit -"āgama" which also means "the arrival of". February's name ends with _th. -พันธ์ -"phan", from Sanskrit "bandha" "fettered" or "bound". The day added to February in a solar leap year is called "Athikasuratin" _th. อธิกสุรทิน; respelled to aid pronunciation _th. อะทิกะสุระทิน. [ [ thai2english dictionary] ]




Note: The colours are the traditional Thai birthday colours associated with the days of the week: red, yellow, pink, green, orange, blue and purple.


A week is _th. สัปดาห์ or _th. สัปดาหะ, pronounced _th. สับ-ดา sàb-da, สับ-ปะ-ดา sàb-phà-daa, or สับ-ดา-หะ sàb-da-hà. From a Sanskrit word for "seven", it is now defined by the [ On-line Royal Institute Dictionary] (ORID) as a 7 day period beginning on Sunday and ending Saturday. When referring to Thai lunar calendar lunations, however, it is the 7-, 8- or (rarely) 9-day interval between quartile lunar phases; that is, from one _th. วันพระ wan prà to the next.


ee also

* Buddhist calendar
* Public holidays in Thailand


* Eade, John Christopher. 1995. "The Calendrical Systems of Mainland South-East Asia". Handbuch der Orientalistik: Dritte Abteilung, Südostasien 9. Leiden and New York: E. J. Brill. ISBN 90-04-10437-2
* na Nakorn, Bleung (comp.). [1971] . นายเปลื้อง ณ นคร ผู้รวบรวม ปทานุกรมนักเรียน ไทยวัฒนาพานิช กทม. Student's Handbook. Bangkok: Thai Wattana Panit, 2514.
* Sethaputra, So. 1999. "New Model English - Thai Dictionary". [Krung Thep Maha Nakhon?: Thai Watthana Phanit?] . ISBN 974-08-3253-9
* Thai calendar for August 2004.
* [ Web dictionary Thai-English English-Thai]

External links

* [ Thai calendar every year]
* [ Thai Time by Anthony Diller]

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