Gov’t Rejects Substitute Songkran Holidays in July

Songkran celebration in Ayutthaya province on April 11, 2017.

BANGKOK — PM Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday said the government formally turned down a proposal to hold the canceled Thai New Year holidays in July.

Officials previously suggested that the three-day holidays are held along with the two Buddhist holidays on July 5-6, but it was dismissed by Prayut who deemed the idea inappropriate. The PM said he has instructed officials to come up with new suggestions over the festival, known as Songkran.

“No one wants it,” Prayut said. “Long holidays are not good for the government since we have to work for the people as much as we can.”

He said the cancelled holidays should be spent one-by-one instead.


“Maybe it can be separated into three occasions, like if Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday are holidays, one day off can be put on Monday to make it a four-day holiday,” Prayut said. “We have to consider what is appropriate. Please stop making a drama out of it.”

Songkran celebrations were indefinitely postponed in April due to the threats of the coronavirus infection. Tourism officials said they hope the festivities can still be held at a later date.


Speaking to reporters today, Ittipol said the Cabinet did not decide on how to spend the three-day holidays quota, since the PM wanted to assess the situation first.

“There is no decision on the use of three-day Songkran holidays,” Ittipol said. “The PM wants to see the COVID-19 situation before making a decision.”

The minister also said Buddhist ceremonies can be held as usual, but they must follow safety protocols outlined by the health ministry.