Bars and restaurants across Thailand will be banned from selling alcohol this coming Friday and Saturday (July 27-8) as the nation marks the Buddhist holidays Asarnha Bucha Day and Khao Phansa (Buddhist Lent)
Asarnha Bucha Day and the beginning of Buddhist Lent have been mandated “National No Alcohol Days” since 2009 by an order that also banned the sale of alcohol on the major Buddhist holidays Makha Bucha Day and Visakha Bucha Day.
Asarnha Bucha day is the full-moon day of the eighth lunar month, commemorating the Buddha’s first sermon to his first five disciples after attaining Enlightenment more than 2,500 years ago.
As part of making merit to honour the day, Buddhists attend evening candlelit processions called wien tien at temples across the country. Visitors are welcome to respectfully join the event.
Buddhist Lent day, or Khao Phansa Day, is the start of a period of three lunar months during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in one particular place or temple and undertake deep meditation.
All main bank branches will be closed, but many branches in shopping centres will remain open. All Royal Thai Police and Tourist Police stations will remain open and some local consulates will be open to serve their respective citizens.
Also, with the 66th birthday of His Majesty The King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun this year falling on a Saturday (July 28), the country will observe the national public holiday on Monday (July 30), with all government offices closed.
To mark the month of special events, the government is calling on households, workplaces and government offices to be decorated with images of HM The King and national flags together with Royal Standards of the monarchy.
Thai flags are to be set at the right side of the buildings and flags of the monarchy are to be set at the left.
Alcohol sales will be banned on Friday and Saturday only. Sunday will be not affected.
Under an announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office on January 22, 2015, the sale of alcohol is prohibited on five specific Buddhist religious days: Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Asarnha Bucha Day, Khao Pansa and Wan Org Pansa days.
Alcohol sales is prohibited across the country on these days, except at duty-free shops at the airport..