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Archive for the 'Thai Holidays' Category

How to Celebrate Magha Puja Day in Thailand

It’s likely no surprise to you that in Thailand, Buddha and Buddhism are held in high regard. Thus, the Buddhist holiday Magha Puja (also known as Makha Bucha or Makha Bucha Day) is celebrated each year in commemoration of Buddha’s Ovadha Patimokha, or list of principles.

By learning about Makha Puja Day in Thailand, you’re showing respect toward the country whose language you seek to learn and are, indeed, providing yourself with the context you need to better understand it.

Here at ThaiPod101.com, we seek to help you understand all you need to know about Thai culture. In this article, we’ll be going more in depth on Magha Puja Day and hope you enjoy learning all of its little facets and traditions. Let’s begin!

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1. What is Magha Bucha Day?

Also called วันมาฆบูชา (wan maa-khá-buu-chaa) in Thai, Magha Bucha Day, or Magha Puja, is one of many Buddhist holidays. Even though it isn’t as important as Vesak Day, it’s still widely recognized. It was the day Buddha declared the core principles of his doctrine for all saints to distribute.

1- History of Makha Bucha and Buddha’s Teachings

On Makha Bucha Day, four miracles occurred on the same day, as follows.

One: It was a full moon on the fifteenth day of the waxing moon in the third month. Two: 1,250 monks came together to pay respect to the Buddha without any prior appointment. Three: All of the monks who came were saints or พระอรหันต์ (phrá aaw-rá-hăn). Four: All the monks had been ordained by the Buddha.

Because there were many monks coming together at the same time, the Buddha took this as an opportunity to announce “Ovadha Patimokha” which outlined the core principles of Buddhism. He addressed the goals, principles, and practice of Buddhism in full.

To summarize, the core of this preaching is that the ultimate goal of Buddhism is nirvana or นิพพาน (níp-phaan), which is a state without passion. Principles which can lead to nirvana are to abstain from bad action, to do good, and to purify the mind.

Ways to practice these include not encroaching on others, not harming others, not saying bad things about other people, keeping one’s behavior honorable, being reclusive, not annoying the community, learning to consume food appropriately, and persevering in practicing sound-mindedness.

As many monks who were all ordained by Buddha came to pay respect to the Buddha without any appointment on this day, this is regarded as a gesture of gratitude. As a result, the government also designated this day as one of gratitude.

Later, we’ll discuss how these teachings are implemented and celebrated on Magha Puja Day.

2. When is Magha Puja?

A Write-In Calendar

Magha Bucha is celebrated in Thailand during the third lunar month, on the day of its full moon. This date varies by year on the Gregorian calendar, but for your convenience we’ve provided a list of this holiday’s date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: February 19
  • 2020: February 8
  • 2021: February 26
  • 2022: February 16
  • 2023: February 5
  • 2024: February 23
  • 2025: February 11
  • 2026: February 1
  • 2027: February 20
  • 2028: February 9

3. How is Magha Puja Day Celebrated?

Upasampada Example

Buddhist practices on this day include offering food to monks in the morning, preparing food—either sweet or savory—for temples at lunchtime, and listening to preaching in the afternoon. The preaching or คำสอน (kham sǎawn) is to remind people of the way to live and to enter nirvana.

At night, all will gather and bring flowers and candles to the temple. They will walk around the temple with candles in their hands along with the monks; they walk in a clockwise fashion. While walking, people will remind themselves of the Buddha, his teachings, and the monks. When three rounds of walking are completed, candles and flowers are put on the altar, and the ceremony or พิธีกรรม (phí-thii gam) ends.

4. Additional Information

In Thailand, a man who wishes to ordain has to be at least twenty years old. If he is younger, he can only be ordained as a novice. Novices have to observe ten religious precepts, while monks need to observe 227 precepts. If a monk behaves inappropriately and is forced to leave the monkhood, he cannot ordain again. However, a novice can be re-ordained unless he’s guilty of serious misconduct.

5. Must-know Vocab

Three Jewels

Here’s some useful Thai vocabulary you should know to celebrate this holiday and better understand the Thai culture.

  • วันมาฆบูชา (wan-maa-khá-buu-chaa) — “Magha Puja Day”
  • บรรลุ (ban-lú) — “achieve”
  • อุปสมบท (ùp-bpà-sǒm-bòt) — “upasampada”
  • รัตนตรัย (rát-dtà-ná-dtrai) — “three jewels”
  • พระสงฆ์ (phrá-sǒng) — “sangha”
  • เจดีย์ (jee-dii) — “pagoda”
  • ฟังเทศน์ (fang-thêet) — “listen to a sermon”
  • ชุมนุม (chum-num) — “gather together”
  • ตรัสรู้ (dtràt-sà-rúu) — “enlightenment in Buddhism”
  • พระพุทธเจ้า (phrá-phút-thá-jâo) — “buddhahood”
  • นัดหมาย (nát-mǎai) — “appointment”

If you want to hear the each word pronounced, visit our Magha Puja Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find an audio alongside each word with its pronunciation.

Conclusion

Now you know more about Magha Puja in Thailand. What do you think of this Buddhist holiday and the teachings it reveres? Is there a similar holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn even more about Thai culture and its language, visit us at ThaiPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow Thai students. Also be sure to download our MyTeacher app if you want to take advantage of a one-on-one learning experience with your very own personal Thai teacher!

Until next time, we hope you’ll continue practicing and study hard! At ThaiPod101.com, we hope to make this learning experience both fun and efficient. With enough effort and motivation, you can master the Thai language before you know it!

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How to Celebrate Children’s Day in Thailand

Learning about Thai holidays is one of the best ways to increase your knowledge of Thai culture, and can be a great way to improve your vocabulary skills too!

In Thailand, family holidays are of great importance considering the friendly and familial nature the country possesses. So it should be no surprise that it celebrates a national Children’s Day (Thai Children’s Day), which seeks to both celebrate and encourage Thai children for who they are and who they can become.

Learn more about Thai Children’s Day with ThaiPod101.com, and become a master of Thai culture. Also learn some handy Thailand holiday vocabulary for your arsenal to make your trip to Thailand a breeze!

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1. Why Should You Know About Thai Children’s Day?

When learning a new language, exploring its culture is just as important as studying the language itself. A country’s holidays are not only a fascinating aspect of its culture, but they also expose the heart of its people and the depth of its past.

Children’s Day in Thailand, for instance, is a reflection of the country’s emphasis on caring for children, and their importance for the future of the country. Once you’ve discovered more about this holiday, you’ll be better able to understand what makes Thailand unique, and what characteristics its people and government share.

For instance, in Thailand, family holidays make for fun and meaningful occasions—days to celebrate family and take it easy with those you love. Thai Children’s Day, though not a public holiday, is no exception and falls on Saturday for this purpose.

2. What is Thai Children’s Day?

Thailand really does take its children seriously—and it realizes that children don’t always want to be serious. Children’s Day (also called Wan Dek or wan-dèk-hàeng châat) in Thailand, though not a public holiday, is a day in early January where children are celebrated and encouraged to become their best.

The day is highlighted by public events where children’s work and accomplishments are put on display as a show of praise and encouragement. Further, each year the Prime Minister gives a motto to children in hopes that they’ll remember it and use it to grow into fine adults.

Children Holding Arms Up In Air

3. When is Thai Children’s Day?

In 2019, Thai Children’s Day will take place on January 12, and this holiday always takes place on the second Saturday in January. For your convenience, here’s a list of the holiday’s date for the next ten years:

  • 2019: January 12
  • 2020: January 11
  • 2021: January 9
  • 2022: January 8
  • 2023: January 14
  • 2024: January 13
  • 2025: January 11
  • 2026: January 10
  • 2027: January 9
  • 2028: January 8

4. How is Thai Children’s Day Celebrated?

Circle of Friends

One common event on this holiday is Thailand’s Prime Minister offering the children of Thailand a short motto to inspire them and take to heart. This motto often has to do with certain moral traits that are most desirable for the future of Thailand, and for people to have in general. (However, there is some controversy and debate on the actual value of these mottos, with some believing they’re too generic and ineffectual.)

Even the schools get involved on Thai Children’s Day, putting on special events to both encourage Thailand’s children and offer them a day of fun. You’ll also find exhibitions of school children’s accomplishments, particularly in the arts.

But the real fun comes in the form of carnivals and other lighthearted festivities that children are encouraged to participate in. Some businesses even use this day to offer children free admission into their place of business; this includes zoos, museums, and even some of Thai’s military bases.

This makes for the perfect occasion for parents to spend time out and about with their children. Some common activities for Children’s Day include visits to the aforementioned zoos, museums, and bases, as well as quality time at home (and probably a special meal!).

In short, Children’s Day in Thailand is meant to both inspire and encourage children, and to allow them to enjoy the freedom of being a kid. Further, it’s a day for parents, teachers, and other adults to show their appreciation and respect for children, and to ponder their importance themselves.

5. Must-Know Vocab for Thai Children’s Day

A Toy Train

To celebrate Thai Children’s Day, you should have a basic knowledge of the most common words associated with this day. To help you out, we’ve provided a quick list of important words for this Thailand holiday:

  • เด็ก (dèk) — “Children”
  • เอาใจใส่ (ao-jai-sài) — “Pay attention”
  • ผู้ใหญ่ (phûu-yài) — “Adult”
  • ครอบครัว (khrâawp-khruua) — “Family
  • วันเด็กแห่งชาติ (wan-dèk-hàeng châat) — “Children’s Day”
  • งานวันเด็ก (ngaan-wan-dèk) — “Children’s Day festival”
  • ความอบอุ่น (khwaam-òp-ùn) — “Warmth”
  • ของเล่น (khǎawng-lên) — “Toy”
  • สำนึก (sǎm-núek) — “Realize”
  • เลี้ยงเด็ก (líiang-dèk) — “Raise a child”
  • คำขวัญ (kham-khwǎn) — “Motto”
  • ความสุข (khwaam-sùk) — “Happiness

If you want to hear the pronunciation of each Thai Children’s Day vocabulary word, check out our Thai Children’s Day word list which includes audio along with each word.

Conclusion

Thailand’s national Children’s Day is a significant occasion in Thailand, and is a great example of how children should be appreciated worldwide. From the fun activities for Children’s Day to the meaning behind it, it’s clear to see that Thailand values not only its future, but those who will be there to live in it.

What do you think about Thai Children’s Day? Is there a national Children’s Day in your country?

If you want to learn more about Thailand’s culture and the Thai language, be sure to visit us at ThaiPod101.com. We have lots of invaluable tools to help you efficiently learn Thai while staying entertained! These include vocabulary lists, insightful blog posts, and our MyTeacher app which offers you one-on-one guidance as you navigate everything Thai! Learning Thai can be both fun and efficient with ThaiPod101.com.

Also be sure to stay tuned for more articles on Thai holidays for an even better glimpse into Thai culture. In the meantime, be sure to practice your Thai Children’s Day vocabulary for the best Thailand holiday experience.

We wish you the best of luck in your language-learning journey!

How to Say Happy New Year in Thai & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Thai New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join ThaiPod101 for a special Thai New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Thai

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Thai? Let a native teach you! At ThaiPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Thai New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Thailand
  2. Must-Know Thai Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Thai
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How ThaiPod101 Can Help You Learn Thai

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Thai New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Thailand

Let’s discuss New Year’s Day, or, as it’s generally known, New Year, which is celebrated on January 1 every year. New Year activities in Thailand are unique and quite different to those in other countries.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

On New Year’s Day, one activity that has been popular for a long time is sending “Sor Kor Sor” or “Song Kwam Suk” greeting cards. The full name means “sending happiness”. What is the history behind these?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

When it gets close to the New Year festival, Thai people will start to clean their houses and decorate them with lights. Then, on December 31, people will go to their local temples or วัด (wát) to listen to preaching and practice Dharma. There are several popular temples where Thai people often go, including Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Kallayanamitra. The most popular activity during New Year’s Eve is praying all night long until the break of the new year. But of course, the New Year’s countdown is a widely recognized tradition as well.

On January 1, people will make offerings, listen to preaching, and ask for blessings or คำอวยพร (kham uuai phaawn) from their elders. Some will go to several temples for “luck enhancement”, in the hopes of establishing a good beginning to the new year. Most people will also take time to be with their family and friends and enjoy festive activities. One such activity is drawing lots for gift exchanges. The Thai word for gift is ของขวัญ (khǎawng khwăn).

On the New Year, people usually send greeting cards or การ์ดอวยพร (gáat uuai phaawn) and wish each other luck by saying “Happy New Year” or “Hello New Year” with big smiles on their faces. In addition, shops usually play a popular song called “Pon pee mai” which means ‘New Year blessings’, and was composed by King Rama IX as a gift to the Thai people.

In the past, April 1 was designated as New Year’s Day, but in 1941, the government changed Thailand’s New Year’s Day to January 1 in keeping with the international tradition.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What is the history of the popular activity on New Year’s Day of sending “Sor Kor Sor” or “Song Kwam Suk”?

Actually, Thailand did not originally have a tradition of sending “Sor Kor Sor”. Rather, they adopted this cultural practice from foreign countries after the late Ayutthaya period. The greeting cards come in the form of paper with writing or printed images.

Happy New Year!
สุขสันต์วันปีใหม่
sùk-sǎn wan-phii-mài

2. Must-Know Thai Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Thai Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

ปี
bpii

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Thailand could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

เที่ยงคืน
thîiang-khuuen

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

วันปีใหม่ วันปีใหม่
wan-bpii-mài

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

งานเลี้ยง
ngaan-líiang

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

เต้นรำ
dtên-ram

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

แชมเปญ
chaaem-bpeen

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

ดอกไม้ไฟ
dàawk-máai-fai

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

การนับถอยหลัง
gaan náp-tháauy-lăng

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

วันหยุดปีใหม่
wan-yùt bpii-mài

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

เศษกระดาษสีที่ใช้โปรยในงานรื่นเริง
sèet grà-dàat sǐi thîi chái bprooi nai ngaan rûuen-rooeng

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

วันส่งท้ายปีเก่า
wan sòng-tháai bpii-gào

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

ดื่มอวยพร
dùuem-uuai-phaawn

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

ข้อตั้งใจ
khâaw dtâng-jai

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

ขบวนแห่
khà-buuan hàae

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At ThaiPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Thai New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Thai word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at ThaiPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Thai friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

อ่านหนังสือมากขึ้น
àan nǎng-sǔue mâak-khûen

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Thai in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Thai language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

ใช้เวลากับครอบครัวมากขึ้น
chái wee-laa gàp khrâawp-khruua mâak-khûen

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

ลดน้ำหนัก
lóot nám-nàk

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

ออมเงิน
aawm-gnoen

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to ThaiPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

เลิกบุหรี่
lôoek bù-rìi

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

เรียนรู้สิ่งใหม่
riian-rúu sìng-mài

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

ลดเหล้า
lót-lâo

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

ออกกำลังกายเป็นประจำ
àawk-gam-lang-gaai bpen bprà-jam

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

ทานอาหารมีประโยชน์
thaan aa-hǎan mii bprà-yòot

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Thai with ThaiPod101

เรียนภาษาไทยกับ ThaiPod101.com
riian phaa-sǎa thai gàp thai-pàwt wan-oo-wan dàwt khawm

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Thai, especially with us! Learning how to speak Thai can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. ThaiPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Thai new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Thai, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Thai incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with ThaiPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Thai could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Thai - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Thai - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with ThaiPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Thai! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that ThaiPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Thai at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Thai that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Thai with ThaiPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Thai

How to Say Merry Christmas in Thai

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Thai? ThaiPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Thai Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Thai speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, ThaiPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Thai!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Thailand
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How ThaiPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Thailand

Christmas Words in Thai

Let’s discuss Christmas Day, which falls on December 25 every year. The celebration of this day has been heavily influenced by the West, and although this day has not been officially declared a holiday, Thai people don’t hesitate to celebrate it. It is another day that Thais long for.

Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-

In Thai, “Christmas” has a separate meaning as well. What do you guys think it means?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep reading.

Christmas in Thailand often begins at big department stores, which are elegantly decorated with colorful lights. There is music or ดนตรี (don-dtrii) as well as a Christmas tree, which is a symbol of the festive period. In Thai, a Christmas tree is called ต้นคริสต์มาส (dtôn khrít-mâat). These items create an atmosphere that encourages many people to come out and take pictures as keepsakes. In the past year, the Central World department store imported and exhibited the largest Christmas tree in South East Asia. With a record height of 36 meters, it impressed both Thai people and tourists alike.

Because Christmas is not an official holiday in Thailand, many non-Christian schools continue their normal teaching schedules. Still, in many places events are hosted every year to celebrate Christmas, including chorus competitions, stage shows, and quizzes about Christmas Day. Activities that are highly anticipated by children include parties or งานเลี้ยงสังสรรค์ (ngaan líiang săng-săn) and drawing lots for the gift exchange, because this is a chance for them to eat delicious food and receive new toys.

In Thailand, animals or สัตว์ (sàt) are often dressed in Santa Claus costumes on Christmas Day. Elephants in Ayutthaya are dressed as Santa Claus and walked to schools where they distribute gifts to children. Tigers in the Sriracha Zoo, or (สวนสัตว์ศรีราชา) wear Santa Claus hats and take photos with tourists. Even pandas in the Chiang Mai Zoo (สวนสัตว์เชียงใหม่) wear Santa Claus costumes. People in the West may view this as animal cruelty, but in the eyes of Thai people, it is adorable.

Since many Thai people are Buddhists, there are usually no Christmas tree decorations in houses during Christmas time. Thai children usually misunderstand the traditional story and think Santa Claus is supposed to hand gifts directly to them, because this is what happens in schools, where school teachers usually dress up as Santa Claus and walk around, distributing sweets to children.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

In Thai, “Christmas” has a separate meaning as well. What do you guys think it is?

The word “Christ” refers to ‘Christianity’ and “Mas” means ‘moon’. From the Thai interpretation, Christmas means “Jesus Christ is the light of the world, like moonlight in the night time”.

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

เมอร์รี่คริสต์มาส!
mooe-rîi-khrít-mât

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Thai? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

สุขสันต์วันควันซ่า
sùk-sǎn wan khwan-sâa

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

ขอให้มีความสุขในปีใหม่
khǎaw-hâi mii khwaam-sùk nai bpii-mài

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

แฮปปี้ฮันนูกาห์
háep-bpîi han-nuu-gâa

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

ขอให้สนุกกับวันหยุดฤดูหนาว
khǎaw hâi sà-nùk gàp wan-yùt rúe-duu-nǎao

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

เจอกันปีหน้า
jooe-gan bpii-nâa

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

ขอให้มีความสุข
khǎaw-hâi mii khwaam-sùk

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Thai Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

สุขสันต์วันหยุด!
sùk-sǎn wan-yùt

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Thai, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

ขอให้สนุกในวันหยุด!
khǎaw-hâi sà-nùk nai wan-yùt

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Thai, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

ขอให้โชคดีในปีใหม่!
khǎaw-hâi chôok-dii nai bpii-mài

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Thai! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At ThaiPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

คริสต์มาสต์
khrít-sà-mât

This is the Thai word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Thai will include this word!

2- Snow

หิมะ
hì-má

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

เกล็ดหิมะ
glèt-hì-má

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

ตุ๊กตาหิมะ
dtúk-gà-dtaa hì-má

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

ไก่งวง
gài-nguuang

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

พวงดอกไม้
phuuang dàawk-mái

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

กวางเรนเดียร์
gwaang reen-diia

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

ซานตาคลอส
saan-dtaa khláawt

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

เอลฟ์
éeo

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

รูดอล์ฟกวางจมูกแดง
ruu-dáawp gwaang jà-mùuk daaeng

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

ขั้วโลกเหนือ
khûua-lôok nǔuea

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

เลื่อนหิมะ
lûuean-hì-má

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

ของขวัญ
khǎawng-khwǎ

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

ระฆัง
rá-khang

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

ปล่องไฟ
bplàwng-fai

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

เตาผิง
dtao phǐng

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

วันคริสต์มาสต์
wan-khrít-sà-mât

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

ของประดับ
khǎawng bprà-dàp

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

ถุงเท้าคริสต์มาส
thǔng-tháao khrít-sà-mât

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

ฮอลลี
haawn-lîi

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

บ้านขนมปังขิง
bâan khà-nǒm-bpang khǐng

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

ลูกอมไม้เท้า
lûuk-om mái-tháo

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

มิสเซิลโท
mít-sôoeo thoo

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Thai, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Thai! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

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We have over a decade of experience and research behind us, and it shows! With thousands of audio and video lessons, detailed PDF lessons and notes, as well as friendly, knowledgeable hosts, ThaiPod101 is simply unbeatable when it comes to learning correct Thai. Plenty of tools and resources are available when you study with us. New lessons are added every week so material remains fresh and relevant. You also have the option to upgrade and enjoy even more personalised guidance and services. This is a sure way to fast-track your learning!

So, this Christmas, why don’t you give yourself a present and enroll in ThaiPod101? Or give an enrollment as a present to a loved one. It will be a gift with benefits for a whole lifetime, not just over Christmas!