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New Year three times a year! Maybe children would be able to imagine that?

But in Thailand it is the reality....

A good friend who is Thai once said to me: “Thais don’t miss a change to celebrate”.

Tuesday this week (November 8) the Thai has yet another celebration. It is time for the annual Loy Krathong festival. If you go to a nearby river, you will experience many beautiful lamps put on small vessels to thank the Goddess of Water or to worship the Buddha’s hair pagoda in the heaven.

In the northern part of Thailand, in Chiang Mai, thousands of lanterns are sent up to celebrate. This is every year closing the airport for 6 hours including the cancelation of over 50 flights.

Loy Krathong is celebrated mostly in Thailand and a few surrounding countries with a large influence from Thailand. However, the Thais have over the years picked up on several nontraditional Thai celebration, such as Christmas, Halloween and Chinese New Year. This is how we get back to the headline and the truth in never missing a change to celebrate.

Three-time New Year, how can that be?

The Thais celebrate New Years Eve on the 31st of December, later in the year (Between January 21 – February 20) they take on the Chinese New Year and then finally finishing it all up with Songkran (Thai New Year) in April.

Looking from a business perspective this gives especially retail business an opportunity to run many campaigns. Not only will these occasions lead to celebrations many will also drive gifting and thereby shopping.

If you take a walk in one of the many shopping malls around Bangkok, Pattaya or Chiang Mai you will right now see Christmas decorations that will be competitive to what you see in the streets of New York, London or Berlin. The only thing missing, the cold weather. And remember only a small percentage of the Thai population are Christian (1,2% Christian, 94,5% Buddhist).

I personally experienced that this openness to other cultures and celebrations tells you a lot about the Thai culture. An open and kind culture insisting on having fun in between the struggles that life is also full of.

So go join our Thai friends, because they never miss a change to celebrate.

Written by Claus Rasmussen

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