New July Public Holiday Honours Birthday of New King of Thailand

Next week sees the inauguration of a new public holiday designed to commemorate the auspicious birthday of the new King of Thailand. King Vajiralongkorn was born on the 28 July 1952 and the holiday will celebrate his 65th birthday. This is the first time Thailand will mark the 28 July as a public holiday as King Vajiralongkorn only ascended the Thai throne last December.

The heir to the Chakri Dynasty assumed the throne seven weeks after his father, King Bhumibol, passed away following a seven-decade-long reign. Low-key ceremonies and festivities typically marked the birthday of King Bhumibol every December. The government of Thailand has not so far announced if there will be any parades or rites to honour King Vajiralongkorn’s birthday this year.

The 28 July holiday is one of almost 20 public holidays on Thailand’s annual calendar. Banks plus government and immigration offices will be closed for the day. This closure does not apply to immigration checkpoints at international airports and official land-border crossings with neighbouring countries. The sale of alcohol is banned on religious holidays. As the 28 July is not a religious holiday, bars and shops should be open as usual.

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