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!