Happy New Year 2011- Thai’s celebrate the New Year three different times

Tomorrow is the Gregorian New Year Years Eve and Saturday will begin the Gregorian New Year- January 1, 2011. Thais observe this New Years celebration and have massive Happy New Year 2011 signs, parties and “count downs”.

But, the Thais do not use the Gregorian calendar. In 1888 King Rama V began using the Buddhist calendar, there is a 543-year difference in the Buddhist calendar and the Gregorian calendar- 2010 in the Gregorian calendar is 2553 in the Buddhist calendar. The Buddhist calendar is also used in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

The Thais celebrate the New Year according to the Buddhist calendar in April with the Songkran festival.

Thais, particularly in Bangkok, also observe and celebrate the Chinese New Year- in 2011 it will begin on February 3.

Tomorrow night will be Happy New Year, sort of and the first of three celebrations and observations. Happy Gregorian New Year!

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About faranginbangkok

Additional pictures: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/faranginbangkok For more updates about Bangkok, Thailand and other thoughts: www.twitter.com/lilrichardb I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region.
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