Remember these public holidays for Southeast Asia

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Date: December 28th 2017
Traveller: Carla Rijnders
Will you be travelling to Southeast Asia in 2018? Make sure to keep an eye out on these public holidays. Some can make your holiday more interesting (like Vasakha Bucha Day, while experiencing beautiful ceremonies), and others can make your travels a bit more difficult (such as TET in Vietnam, when many shops and companies are closed to celebrate the Vietnamese New Year).

Vietnam:
  • 01 January – New Year’s Day
  • 14-20 February – TET | Vietnamese New Year
  • 27 March – Hung Kings temple Festival | Honours Hung Kings’ contribution to Vietnam as the traditional founders of the nation and the first emperors.
  • 30 April – Reunification Day | Marks the fall of Saigon in 1975
  • 01 May – International Labor Day
  • 02  September – National Day | Falling on the weekend, an off day will be held on the 3rd of September
Myanmar:
  • 04 January – Independence Day
  • 12 February – Union Day
  • 01 March – Full Moon Day of Tabuang
  • 02 March – Peasants’ Day | A day to mark and honour the contribution of agriculture and farming in Myanmar.
  • 13-20 April – Thingyan | Burmese New Year
  • 29 April – Full Moon Day of Kasong | Vesak Day
  • 01 May – Labour Day
  • 19 July – Martyr’s Day | Commemorates the assassination of General Aung San and several other cabinet members in 1947.
  • 27 July – Full Moon Day of Waso | Beginning of Buddhist Lent
  • 23-25 October – Thadingyut | End of Buddhist Lent
  • 21-22 November – Tazaungmone | The full moon of Tazaungmone marks the end of the rainy season in Myanmar as well as the end of the Kathina festival during which monks are offered alms and new robes.
  • 02 December – National Day
  • 25 December – Christmas Day
  • 31 December – New Year’s Eve
Thailand:
  • 01 January – New Year’s Day
  • 16 February – Chinese New Year | Regional holiday in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Satun only.
  • 01 March – Makha Bucha
  • 06 April – Chakri Day | Chakri Day commemorates the establishment of the Chakri Dynasty by Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke ( Rama I) in 1782.
  • 13-17 April – Songkran | Thai New Year and water festival
  • 01 May – Labour Day
  • 11 May – Royal Ploughing Ceremony | only a public holiday for government offices; The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an ancient tradition to mark the traditional beginning of the rice-growing season.
  • 29 May – Vasakha Bucha Day | Most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar, as this is the day that the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment (nirvana), and attained parinirvana (nirvana-after-death of the body) when he died.
  • 27 July – Asahna Bucha Day | Commemorates the Buddha's first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares, India and the founding of the Buddhist sangha (monkhood) about 2,500 years ago.
  • 28 July – H.M. King’s Birthday | As this falls on the weekend, a day off will be held on 30 July.
  • 13 August – H.M. Queen’s birthday | on this day Thai Mother’s Day will be celebrated.
  • 13 October – The passing of King Bhumibol | day off on the 15th of October, as the 13th falls on the weekend.
  • 23 October – Chulalongkorn Day | Commemorates King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) who passed away on 23 October 1910.
  • 5 December – King Bhumibol’s Birthday | Thai Father’s Day will be celebrated.
  • 10 December – Constitution Day | Commemorates Thailand's adoption of a constitutional monarchy in 1932.
  • 31 December – New Year’s Eve
Cambodia:
  • 01 January – International New Year Day
  • 07 January – Victory over Genocide Day | Marks the end of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.
  • 01 March – Meak Bochea Day.
  • 08 March – International Women’s Day.
  • 13-17 April – Khmer New Year Holiday.
  • 13 May – King’s Birthday | Off day on the 14th of May as it falls on the weekend.
  • 17 May – Royal Plowing Ceremony
  • 29 May – Visak Bochea Day | Most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar, as this is the day that the Buddha was born, attained enlightenment (nirvana), and attained parinirvana (nirvana-after-death of the body) when he died.
  • 01 June – Children’s Day.
  • 18 June – King’s Mother Birthday.
  • 24 September – Constitutional Day | Celebrates the signing of the constitution in 1993.
  • 08-10 October – Ancestors Day | A Buddhist Holiday dedicated to honouring deceased relatives.
  • 15 October – Commemoration Day of King’s Father | H.M. Norodom Sihanouk passed away on 15 October 2012.
  • 23 October – Paris Peace Agreements Day.
  • 29 October – King’s Coronation Day | H.M. Norodom Sihamoni’s coronation was on 29 October 2004.
  • 09 November – Independence Day | Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953.
  • 22-24 November – Water Festival | Boat Racing festival to mark the annual change in the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers.
  • 10 December – International Human Rights Day.
Laos:
  • 01 January – International New Year’s Day
  • 08 March – International Women’s Day
  • 16-18 April – Pii Mai | Lao New Year
  • 01 May – International Labor Day
  • 20 July – Lao Women Union Establishment Day
  • 08 October – BOL Establishment Day | for banks only
  • 25 October – Boat Racing Festival | Celebrates the end of Buddhist Lent
  • 22 November – That Luang Festival | That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument of Laos. Boun That Luang is a three-day religious festival celebrated at the full moon in November. It begins with a pre-dawn gathering of thousands of pilgrims from Laos and Thailand at That Luang who listen to prayers and sermons chanted by hundreds of monks all representing different Lao wats. The festival ends with a huge fireworks display.
  • 03 December – Lao National Day | This day commemorates the abolition of the monarchy and proclaims the Democratic Republic of Laos.

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