Cabinet backs 8 special holidays
The cabinet yesterday approved eight special holidays for next year, including regional ones, to stimulate tourism.
Deputy government spokesperson, Traisuree Taisaranakul, said Friday Feb 12 would be a Lunar New Year holiday, which is not normally an official one.
April 12, a Monday, will be another Songkran holiday and July 27, another Monday, will be a holiday in lieu of Buddhist Lent Day.
Another holiday to be observed for the first time next year is Prince Mahidol Day on Sept 24. Prince Mahidol, the King's grandfather, is recognised as the father of modern medicine in Thailand.
Meanwhile, the holiday in lieu of Chulalongkorn Day on Saturday, Oct 23 is moved to Friday Oct 22 from Monday Oct 25.
Regional holidays next year, approved for the first time, are March 26 in the North for worshippers of Buddha relics, May 10 in the Northeast for the Boon Bang Fai rocket festival, Oct 6 in the South for the Tenth Lunar Month Festival to make merit for ancestors' spirits and Oct 21 in the Central Plains in lieu of the end of Buddhist Lent.
The new holidays were aimed at stimulating tourism. Heads of government and private organisations can decide if they will observe the special holidays or not in a way that would not affect their operations, Miss Traisuree said.
While Ms Traisuree did not give details at this stage, some of the approved holidays, including weekends, create a long holiday in February (3 days), in April (6), in July (5) and in October (3).
Financial institutions and the stock exchange normally use the Bank of Thailand's calendar, which generally does not have as many long holidays due to concerns about financial disruption.