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A Buddhist Holy Day

When do they happen?

TIPS & TRICKS: This is one that can apply equally to Thailand visitors as it does for expats. The idea came from a FB post showing a temple I would like to visit at some stage. The person posting it warned that the wat got busy on weekends and it would be better to go during the week. This logical advice applies to all popular tourist wats frequented by Thai people of course as it would to an attraction in our own countries.

What is a little different here is that these wats will also most likely be a lot busier on Buddhist holy days, especially during the three month Buddhist Lent period, and if you can it is best to avoid those days. To see when holy days occur you need to find yourself a Thai calendar (one on every house/shop wall in Thailand) and look for the red Buddhas – shown in my example at the 13th, 20th and 28th. These are either half moon or full moon times and holy days are based around them. A search for local moon phases online will do the job too of course.

Speaking about busy times – for local expats or those visiting Udon province and surrounds your Thai partner will almost definitely want to visit a temple called Wat Kham Chanot/Kamchanod (, north of Udon Thani city. Here the Thai lottery numbers are available if you know where to look  Thousands make the trip from all over Thailand to do just that so it is best to avoid this temple in the days leading up to a lottery draw, which happens on the 1st and 16th of each month.

The other oddity about Thai calendars is that they show Thai dates under the main numbers. Have a look at the 1st in my example and underneath you will see a small 10, the 2nd has an 11 and so on. There are some events that are based around Thai dates rather than ours so this is useful to know. Our provincial capital of Nong Bua Lamphu has a big morning street market every 11th, but that’s the Thai 11th not ours!!! If you turned up on the 11th of Jan in NBL nothing would be happening because that’s the 6th according to the Thai dates 

Thais may also use a different clock time from us, which will confuse you too, but we won’t get into that here (I have written about it before).