Thai solar calendar

The Thai solar calendar (Thai: ปฏิทินสุริยคติ, RTGSpatithin suriyakhati, "solar calendar") was adopted by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1888 CE as the Siamese version of the Gregorian calendar, replacing the Thai lunar calendar as the legal calendar in Thailand (though the latter is still also used, especially for traditional and religious events). Years are now counted in the Buddhist Era (B.E.): พุทธศักราช, พ.ศ., (RTGSPhutthasakkarat) which is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar.

A panel from a typical calendar, showing the month of August 2004 (B.E. 2547). Note that lunar dates are also provided.


The Siamese generally used two calendars, a sacred and a popular (vulgar in the classical sense). The vulgar or minor era (จุลศักราช, chula sakarat) was thought to have been instituted when the worship of Gautama was first introduced,[1] [2] and corresponds to the traditional Burmese calendar (abbreviated ME or BE, the latter not to be confused with the abbreviation for the Buddhist Era, which is the sacred era.)

Rattanakosin Era

King Chulalongkorn decreed a change in vulgar reckoning to the Rattanakosin Era (รัตนโกสินทรศก, Rattanakosin Sok abbreviated ร.ศ. and R.S.) in 1889 CE. The epoch (reference date) for Year 1 was 6 April 1782 with the accession of Rama I, the foundation of the Chakri Dynasty, and the founding of Bangkok (Rattanakosin) as capital. To convert years in R.S. to the Common Era, add 1781 for dates from April to December, and 1782 for dates from January to March.

Buddhist Era

In Thailand the sacred, or Buddhist Era, is reckoned to have an epochal year 0 from 11 March 543 BC, believed to be the date of the death of Gautama Buddha. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) changed year counting to this Buddhist Era (abbreviated BE) and moved the start of the year back to 1 April in 2455 BE, 1912 CE. As there is no longer any reference to a vulgar or popular era, the Common Era may be presumed to have taken the place of the former.

New year

New Year, the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count is incremented, originally coincided with the date calculated for Songkran, when the Sun transits the constellation of Aries, the first astrological sign in the Zodiac as reckoned by sidereal astrology: thus the year commenced on 11 April 1822.[1] As previously noted, Rama VI moved the start of the year back to 1 April in 2455 BE, 1912 CE.

On 6 September 1940, Prime Minister Phibunsongkhram decreed[3] 1 January 1941 as the start of the year 2484 BE, so year 2483 BE had only nine months. To convert dates from 1 January to 31 March prior to that year, the number to add or subtract is 542; otherwise, it is 543. Example:

Month 1–3 4–6 7–9 10–12 1–3 4–6 7–9 10–12 1–3 4–6 7–9 10–12 1–3 4–6 7–9 10–12
CE 1939 1940 1941 1942
BE 2481 2482 2483 2484 2485
Thai Month 10-12 1-3 4–6 7–9 10-12 1-3 4–6 7–9 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12 1-3 4-6 7-9 10-12

Today, both the Common Era New Year's Day (1 January) and the traditional Thai New Year (สงกรานต์, Songkran) celebrations (13–15 April) are public holidays in Thailand. In the traditional Thai calendar, the change to the next Chinese zodiacal animal occurs at Songkran (now fixed at 13 April.)[4] For Thai Chinese communities in Thailand, however, the Chinese calendar determines the day that a Chinese New Year begins, and assumes the name of the next animal in the twelve-year animal cycle.


Names of the months derive from Hindu astrology names for the signs of the zodiac. Thirty-day-month names end in -ayon (-ายน), from Sanskrit root āyana : the arrival of; 31-day-month names end in -akhom (-าคม), from Sanskrit āgama (cognate to English "come") that also means the arrival of.

February's name ends in -phan (-พันธ์), from Sanskrit bandha : "fettered" or "bound". The day added to February in a solar leap year is Athikasuratin (อธิกสุรทิน, respelled to aid pronunciation (อะทิกะสุระทิน) from Sanskrit adhika : additional; sura : move).[5]

English name Thai name Abbr. Thai Pronunciation Sanskrit word Zodiac sign
January มกราคม ม.ค. mákàraa-khom, mókkàraa-khom makara "sea-monster" Capricorn
February กุมภาพันธ์ ก.พ. kumphaa-phan kumbha "pitcher, water-pot" Aquarius
March มีนาคม มี.ค. miinaa-khom mīna "(a specific kind of) fish" Pisces
April เมษายน เม.ย. meesaǎ-yon meṣa "ram" Aries
May พฤษภาคม พ.ค. phrɯ́tsaphaa-khom vṛṣabha "bull" Taurus
June มิถุนายน มิ.ย. míthùnaa-yon mithuna "a pair" Gemini
July กรกฎาคม ก.ค. kàrákàdaa-khom karkaṭa "crab" Cancer
August สิงหาคม ส.ค. sǐnghǎa-khom sinha "lion" Leo
September กันยายน ก.ย. kanyaa-yon kanyā "girl" Virgo
October ตุลาคม ต.ค. tùlaa-khom tulā "balance" Libra
November พฤศจิกายน พ.ย. phrɯ́tsacìkaa-yon vṛścika "scorpion" Scorpio
December ธันวาคม ธ.ค. thanwaa-khom dhanu "bow, arc" Sagittarius

See also


  1. ^ a b Crawfurd, John (21 August 2006) [1830]. "Chapter I". Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-general of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China. Volume 2 (2nd ed.). London: H. Colburn and R. Bentley. p. 32. OCLC 3452414. Retrieved 6 August 2012. The Siamese year does not commence with the first month, but corresponds with that of the Chinese. In the year 1822, the new year fell on the 11th of April, being the 5th day of the dark half of the moon.... The Siamese have two epochs, or, as they describe them, Sa-ka-rat. The sacred one dates from the death of Gautama, and the year which commenced on the 11th of April, 1822, was the year 2365, according to this reckoning.
  2. ^ Roberts, Edmund (Digitized 12 October 2007) [First published in 1837]. "Chapter XX―Division of Time". Embassy to the Eastern courts of Cochin-China, Siam, and Muscat : in the U. S. sloop-of-war Peacock ... during the years 1832-3-4 (Digital ed.). Harper & brothers. p. 310. Retrieved 25 April 2012. The Siamese have two epochs, sacred and popular. The sacred era dates from the death of Gautama, and the year 1833 corresponded to the 2376 year. The vulgar era was instituted when the worship of Gautama was first introduced; and the year 1833 corresponded with the year 1194, and was the fifth, or Dragon year. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ พระราชบัญญัติปีปฏิทิน พุทธศักราช ๒๔๘๓ (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 57 (0 ก): 419. 1940-09-17.
  4. ^ J.C. Eade. The calendrical systems of mainland southeast asia. E.J. Brill, Leiden. p. 22. ISBN 90-04-10437-2. According to some scholars including George Coedes the change occurred at the beginning of the 5th lunar month originally a few days before Songkhran.
  5. ^ Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, dictionary


  • 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

540s BC

This article concerns the period 549 BC – 540 BC.

543 BC

The year 543 BC was a year of the pre-Julian Roman calendar. In the Roman Empire, it was known as year 211 Ab urbe condita. The denomination 543 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Buddhist calendar

The Buddhist calendar is a set of lunisolar calendars primarily used in mainland Southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand as well as in Sri Lanka and Chinese populations of Malaysia and Singapore for religious or official occasions. While the calendars share a common lineage, they also have minor but important variations such as intercalation schedules, month names and numbering, use of cycles, etc. In Thailand, the name Buddhist Era is a year numbering system shared by the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar and by the Thai solar calendar.

The Southeast Asian lunisolar calendars are largely based on an older version of the Hindu calendar, which uses the sidereal year as the solar year. One major difference is that the Southeast Asian systems, unlike their Indian cousins, do not use apparent reckoning to stay in sync with the sidereal year. Instead, they employ their versions of the Metonic cycle. However, since the Metonic cycle is not very accurate for sidereal years, the Southeast Asian calendar is slowly drifting out of sync with the sidereal, approximately one day every 100 years. Yet no coordinated structural reforms of the lunisolar calendar have been undertaken.

Today, the traditional Buddhist lunisolar calendar is used mainly for Theravada Buddhist festivals, and no longer has the official calendar status anywhere. The Thai Buddhist Era, a renumbered Gregorian calendar, is the official calendar in Thailand.

Civil calendar

The civil calendar is the calendar, or possibly one of several calendars, used within a country for civil, official or administrative purposes. The civil calendar is almost always used for general purposes by people and private organizations.

The most widespread civil calendar and de facto international standard is the Gregorian calendar. Although that calendar is associated with the Catholic Church and the papacy, it has been adopted, as a matter of convenience, by many secular and non-Christian countries although some countries use other calendars.

Colors of the day in Thailand

According to ancient customs in Thailand, there is an astrological rule (which has influence from Hindu mythology) that assigns a color to each day of the week based on the color of the God who protects the day or Navagraha. For example, the God of Sunday is Surya who has the color red. These colors of the day are traditional Thai birthday colors. As King Bhumibol and his son were born on Mondays, Thailand is decorated with yellow on their birthdays. Thai people often wear clothes corresponding to the color of the day.

Date and time notation in Thailand

Thailand has adopted ISO 8601 under national standard: TIS 1111:2535 in 1992. However, in practice, there are some variations.

Epoch (reference date)

An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.

The moment of epoch is usually decided by congruity (makes simple sense), or by following conventions understood from the epoch in question. The epoch moment or date is usually defined from a specific, clear event of change, epoch event. In a more gradual change, a deciding moment is chosen when the epoch criterion was reached.


An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the history of Earth.

Comparable terms are epoch, age, period, saeculum, aeon (Greek aion) and Sanskrit yuga.

Law of Thailand

The laws of Thailand are based on the civil law, but have been influenced by common law (see also world legal systems).

List of calendars

This is a list of calendars. Included are historical calendars as well as proposed ones. Historical calendars are often grouped into larger categories by cultural sphere or historical period; thus O'Neil (1976) distinguishes the groupings Egyptian calendars (Ancient Egypt), Babylonian calendars (Ancient Mesopotamia), Indian calendars (Hindu and Buddhist traditions of the Indian subcontinent), Chinese calendars and Mesoamerican calendars.

These are not specific calendars but series of historical calendars undergoing reforms or regional diversification.

In Classical Antiquity, the Hellenic calendars inspired the Roman calendar, including the solar Julian calendar introduced in 45 BC. Many modern calendar proposals, including the Gregorian calendar itself, are in turn modifications of the Julian calendar.

Phonon 2555 Vision

Phonon 2555 Vision is a live video album by Susumu Hirasawa. It contains recordings of the Phonon 2555 shows from 2012, part of the "Phonon" series of Hirasawa concerts. The number on the title represents the year of the performance on the Thai solar calendar.

Solar calendar

A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the season or almost equivalently the apparent position of the Sun relative to the stars. The Gregorian calendar, widely accepted as standard in the world, is an example of a solar calendar.

The main other type of calendar is a lunar calendar, whose months correspond to cycles of Moon phases. The months of the Gregorian calendar do not correspond to cycles of Moon phase.

Thai calendar

In Thailand, two main calendar systems are used alongside each other: the Thai solar calendar, based on the Gregorian calendar, used for official and most day-to-day purposes, and the Thai lunar calendar (a version of the Buddhist calendar, technically a lunisolar calendar), used for traditional events and Buddhist religious practices.

The use of the solar calendar was introduced in 1889 by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), replacing the lunar calendar in official contexts. Originally placing the beginning of year on 1 April, this was changed to 1 January in 1941, so the days and months now correspond exactly to the Gregorian calendar. Numbering of the years follow the Buddhist Era, introduced in 1913 to replace the Rattanakosin Era, which in turn replaced the Chula Sakarat in 1889. The reckoning of the Buddhist Era in Thailand is 543 years ahead of the Common Era (Anno Domini), so the year 2019 CE corresponds to B.E. 2562.

The lunar calendar contains twelve or thirteen months in a year, with 15 waxing moon and 14 or 15 waning moon days in a month, amounting to years of 354, 355 or 384 days. The years are usually noted by the animal of the Chinese zodiac, although there are several dates used to count the New Year.

As with the rest of the world, the seven-day week is used alongside both calendars. The solar calendar now governs most aspects of life in Thailand, and while official state documents invariably follow the Buddhist Era, the Common Era is also used by the private sector. The lunar calendar determines the dates of Buddhist holidays, traditional festivals and astrological practices, and the lunar date is still recorded on birth certificates and printed in most daily newspapers.

Thai lunar calendar

The Thai lunar calendar (Thai: ปฏิทินจันทรคติ, RTGS: patithin chanthrakhati, pronounced [pà.tì.tʰīn tɕān.tʰrá.kʰā.tìʔ], literally, Specific days according to lunar norms), or Tai calendar, is a lunisolar Buddhist calendar. It is used for calculating lunar-regulated holy days. Based on the SuriyaYatra, with likely influence from the traditional Hindu Surya Siddhanta, it has its own unique structure that does not require the Surya Siddhanta to calculate. Lunisolar calendars combine lunar and solar calendars for a nominal year of 12 months. An extra day or an extra 30-day month is intercalated at irregular intervals.


Thursday is the day of the week between Wednesday and Friday. According to the ISO 8601 international standard, it is the fourth day of the week.

Time in Thailand

Thailand follows UTC+07:00, which is 7 hours ahead of UTC. The local mean time in Bangkok was originally UTC+06:42:04. Thailand used this local mean time until 1920, when it changed to Indochina Time, GMT+07:00, ICT is used all year round as Thailand does not observe daylight saving time.


Tuesday is the day of the week between Monday and Wednesday. According to international standard ISO 8601, it is the second day of the week. According to some commonly used calendars, however, especially in the United States, it is the third day of the week. The English name is derived from Old English Tiwesdæg and Middle English Tewesday, meaning "Tīw's Day", the day of Tiw or Týr, the god of single combat, and law and justice in Norse mythology. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica, and the name of the day is a translation of Latin dies Martis.


Wednesday is the day of the week between Tuesday and Thursday. According to international standard ISO 8601 it is the third day of the week. In countries that use the Sunday-first convention and in the Jewish Hebrew calendar Wednesday is defined as the fourth day of the week. The name is derived from Old English Wōdnesdæg and Middle English Wednesdei, "day of Woden", reflecting the pre-Christian religion practiced by the Anglo-Saxons, a variation of the Norse god Odin. In other languages, such as the French mercredi or Italian mercoledì, the day's name is a calque of dies Mercurii "day of Mercury". It has the most letters out of all the Gregorian calendar days.

Wednesday is in the middle of the common Western five-day workweek that starts on Monday and finishes on Friday.


Yasothon (Thai: ยโสธร, pronounced [já.sǒː.tʰɔ̄ːn]) is a town on the Chi River in the north-eastern region of Thailand. It is the capital and administrative center of Yasothon Province and seat of its City District. Within this district, subdistrict Nai Mueang (ในเมือง In town) comprises the bounds of the town proper, which had a population of 21,134 in 2005. It lies 531 km (330 mi) north-east of Bangkok, the Thai capital.

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