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The Thai lunar calendar or Patitin Chantarakati (Thai: ปฏิทินจันทรคติ) was replaced by the Thai solar calendar Patitin Suriyakati (ปฎิทินสุริยคติ) in AD 1888 2431 BE for most purposes, but the Chantarakati still determines most Buddhist feast or holy days, as well as a day for the famous Loy Krathong festival. These move with respect to the solar calendar, so Thai calendars continue to show Chantarakati dates, as well as Chinese calendar lunar dates. Thai birth certificates also include Chantarakati dates, and the appropriate Animal from the twelve Animals. In practice, many Thais reckon their ages from this sequence of Animals, though legally, age is determined by the solar calendar.

Patitin Chantarakati[]

Literally Against-the-Sun Moon-Ways, but properly the Chantarakati Calendar, this is Thailand's version of the lunisolar Buddhist calendar used in the southeast Asian countries of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma). Based on the original third-century Surya Siddhanta Hindu calendar, these combine lunar and solar calendars for a nominal year of 12 months. A 'leap' day or 30-day 'leap' month is intercalated [added] at regular intervals; Thai, Lao, and Cambodian versions do not add the leap day to years with the leap month.


Years in the Patitin Chantarakati may have three lengths—354, 355 or 384 days.

These years are designated by the types of months they contain :

  • Prokatimas Normal Month(s), alternately 29 and 30 days long ; also, a year of 354 days
  • Athikawara Leap Day that is added to 29-day Month 7 ; also, a year of 355 days
  • Athikamas Leap Month that repeats 30-day Month 8 ; also, a year of 384 days.


Other Buddhist-calendar months have names in Sanskrit or old Burmese, but Thai lunar months number simply from 1 to 12:

Du-an 1 - 12 เดือน ๑ — ๑๒ Month 1-12.

The number 1 and 2 in the names of the first two months are read in archaic language: Du-an 1 is called Du-an Aai (Thai: เดือนอ้าย) and Du-an 2 is called Du-an Yi (Thai: เดือนยี่). The rest follow the modern way to read numbers.

  • For Athikamas, Du-an 8 repeats as เดือน ๘/๘ — variously read as
    • Du-an Bad dap Bad — Month 8 slash 8,
    • Du-an Bad Song Khang — Month 8 Side Two, or
    • Du-an Bad Song Hon — Month 8 Time Two in the Isan language.

Note: the northern kingdom of Lannathai used month numbers that made Lannathai Month n = Month n − 2 in the central Sukhothai kingdom; and in the Shan kingdom of Keng Tung, Month n − 1.

Month divisions[]

Athikamas Leap Month began in July, ended 15 August 2004/2547BE

Months divide into two periods designated by the names of their characteristic "moons":

Khang Kuen
ข้างขึ้น Waxing Moon ; the period from new moon to full moon
15 days, always
Khang Raem
ข้างแรม Waning Moon ; the period from full moon to new moon
15 days in even-numbered months
14 days in odd-numbered months except when Athikawara adds the leap day to Month 7. Note: when not compounded with other words or syllables:
ข้าง [at, on, or to the] side
ขึ้น to rise or mount
แรม to tire or retire.


Days number sequentially from 1 to 14 or 15:

Kuen 1 Kham Du-an 1
ขึ้น ๑ คำ เดือน ๑ Waxing [Moon, Day] 1 Evening, Month 1 ; on to
Raem 15 Kham Du-an 12
แรม ๑๕ คำ เดือน ๑๒ Waning [Moon, Day] 15 Evening, Month 12.
คำ Evening nowadays is generally taken as the evening of the common day that begins and ends at midnight, rather than of a day that begins and ends at dusk. Past practice may have been different. But see Wan Wy Phra Chan, below.

Lunar-Day Names[]

  • Wan Phra วันพระ Day(s) Holy [to Buddhists] ; also called
    • Wan Thamma Sawana วันธรรมสวนะ (วันทำมะสะวะนะ) religious holy day(s) ; Buddhist sabbath(s) ; regularly fall on:
      • Kuen 8 ขึ้น ๘ first-quarter moon
      • Kuen 15 ขึ้น ๑๕ full moon ; also called
        • Wan Phen วันเพ็ญ day [of] full [moon].
          • WAN DUAN PHEN (Thai: วันเดือนเพ็ญ), the actual day of the full moon and KHUEN 15 KHAM do not always fall on the same day.
      • Raem 8 แรม ๘ third-quarter moon ; and
      • Raem 14 (15) แรม ๑๔ (๑๕) last day of the lunar month ; also called
  • Wan Khow Phansah วันเข้าพรรษา
    • Note: 2 Aug 2004 was Compensatory Day Off [th:ชดเชย] for Wan Khow Phansah that fell on a Sunday
  • Wan Wy Phra Chan วันไหว้พระจันทร์
Day [of] Respect [for] Holy Moon
actual day the Harvest moon becomes full
Kuen 14 (15) Kham Du-an 11 ขึ้น ๑๔ (๑๕) คำ เดือน ๑๐
Waxing 14(15) Evening, Month 11.


Thai orthography spells most native words phonetically, though there is no definitive system for transcription into Roman letters. Here, native Thai words are immediately followed by a vocabulary entry in this pattern:

Phonetic Thai (Thai phonetic respelling, if different) [Comment] definition ; variant definitions.


Tai ไทย (ไท) [Archaic] free, frank ; Thai race, language, alphabet ; citizen of Thailand.

Sanskrit loan words follow different rules [the way English rules vary for Greek and Latin ('ph-' in 'phonetic' being pronounced /f/, for example.)] Entered below in order of first appearance, these vocabulary entries are in this pattern:

Sanskrit สันสกฤต (สันสะกริด /san-sa-krit/)

Literally means "self-made" or "self-done", or "cultured" in a modern usage(which implies the language of cultured); Sanskrit alphabet, language, writing ; [presumed] compound of

  • san สัน (-/son/) derived from the word, "saṃ" meaning "self, together, with"
  • skrit สกฤต (สะกริต /sa-krit/) derived from the word "(s)kar" meaning "do or make".
Chantarakati จันทรคติ (จันทะระคะติ)
Lunar Calendar ; compound of
  • Chantara- จันทร- (จันทะระ /chontara/) : Chon จันทร์ (จัน) moon, lunar +
  • Kati คติ (คะติ) : ways, principles ; moral [of a tale].
Patitin ปฎิทิน (ปะติทิน)
Calendar ; compound of
  • Pati- ปฏิ- (ปะดิ-) : anti-, re- +
  • -tin (-ทิน) : [from tinnagorn ทินกร (ทินะกอน) - poetical for] the sun, Sol
    • [possibly in the sense of 'tint' + - gorn -กร – -er, -or : paint-er].
Patitin Chantarakati ปฏิทินจันทรคติ (ปะติทินจันทะระคะติ)
"Resolarized Moon-Ways", Lunisolar Calendar
Suriyakati สุริยคติ (สุริยะคะติ)
Solar Ways, Solar Calendar ; compound of
  • Suriya สุริย or สุริยะ : Athit อาทิตย์, the sun, Sol +
  • Kati คติ (คะติ) : ways, principles ; moral [of a tale].
Prokatimas ปรกติมาส (ปฺรกกะติมาด /pro-ko-ti-maht/)
normal month ; compound of
  • Prokati ปรกติ (ปฺรกกะติ) : pokiti ปกติ (ปะกะติ) ordinary, usual, normal +
  • Mas มาส (มาด /maht/) : du-an (เดือน) month.
Athikamas อธิกมาส (อะทิกะมาด /a-ti-ka-maht/)
month added in leap-month lunar years
Athikawara อธิกวาร (อะทิกะวาน /a-ti-ka-wahn/)
day added in leap-day lunar years ; compound of
  • Athika (Sanskrit: adhika) : additional +
  • -wara วาร (วาน /wahn/) : wan วัน day.
[Athikasuratin อธิกสุรทิน (อะทิกะสุระทิน)]
[day added to February in a solar leap year.]


  • A current Thai calendar
  • Sethaputra, So. New Model English - Thai Dictionary, ISBN 974-08-3253-9
  • ThaiSoftware Dictionary V 3.0, ThaiSoftware Enterprise Co., Ltd.
  • J.C. Eade. The calendrical systems of mainland south-east Asia. ISBN 90-04-10437-2

See also[]

  • Public holidays in Thailand

External link[]