Before the current calendar, Thailand used lunar calendar (Thai: ปฏิทินจันทรคติ /bpà-dtì-tin jan-tá-rá ká-dtì/) which is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. Until year 1889 in the reign of King rama V, Thailand formally announced to use the solar calendar (Thai : ปฏิทินสุริยคติ bpà-dtì-tin sù-rí-yá ká-dtì/) in which the years are counted in the Buddhist Era (BE: พ.ศ. พุทธศักราช póot tá sàk-gà-ràat). The Buddhist calculation starts 543 years before the Christian Era ( ค.ศ. คริสต์ศักราช krít sàk-gà- ràat)
Names of the months are derived from names of the zodiac sign. 30 day-month names end with -ayon (อายน), from Sanskrit root āyana : the arrival of; 31 day-month names end with –akhom (อาคม), from Sanskrit āgama (cognate to English “come”) that also means the arrival of. February’s name ends in -pan (-พันธ์), from Sanskrit bandha meaning”fettered” or “bound”
For example: January in Thai is มกราคม /má-gà-raa-kom/ which is derived from the word มกร /má-gà-rá/ meaning “sea monster” also known as the constellation of Capricorn, combined with the word “aa-kom”, so มกราคม /má-gà-raa-kom/ literally means the arrival of Capricorn.
See the other 11 months meaning in the table below:
i just learn Thai language. Interest make make learn more. Linimasaade like this.
SHYAN HUEI YEE says
May I ask what is the meaning of pror tuk yhang moon di mot laeo?
Of course you can ask any questions.
เพราะ pror = because, because of
tuk-yhang ทุกอย่าง = everything
I am sorry I am not sure what this part is without seeing the Thai text “moon di mot laeo”. Perhaps you could find them and paste here for me?
pror tuk yhang moon di mot laeo?
pror = เพราะ (Because)
tuk yhang = ทุกอย่าง (everything)
moon di = มันดี (Good)
mot laeo = หมดแล้ว (Already)
pror tuk yhang moon di mot laeo? = Because everything is good already
Edna Ng says
Hi khun Mod.
i am disappointed to see the video removed…. do you think you can remake the 12 months topic again?
Sawatdee ka Edna, I have a video file and I will upload it to my new YouTube channel soon. Please subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/user/ThaiwithMod
Dan Buskirk says
Your image of the signs of the zodiac is similar to most in the west. If I am not mistaken, I have seen horoscopes in Thailand where the cutoff date between the different signs is in the middle of the month. Is this correct or have I just remembered something incorrectly? By the way, since I was born on September 14, this would put me in a different sign in Bangkok than in New York.
south indian Malayalam has the same name for months
Diana Balsells says
That’s so interesting!
Thank you Kruu Mod. I love this kind of stuff (relating names to their origin). It is my understanding that the days of the week are also related to the colors of the Hindu Navagraha (something like Gods, but not exactly) that protect each day. This is from Wikipedia:
Day Color of the day Celestial Body God of the day
Sunday red Sun Surya
Monday yellow Moon Chandra
Tuesday pink Mars Mangala
Wednesda green Mercury Buddha
Thursday orange Jupiter Brihaspati
Friday light blue Venus Shukra
Saturday purple Saturn Shani
This obviously also helps to explain the King’s colors and those of other members of the Royal family since The HRM the King was born on a Monday and HRM the Queen was born on Friday etc.
Of course in Thai the names of the days of the week are named after the planets (with the exception of Thursday and Saturday since people used to think that those planets were stars), but less people know where the colors come from.
Thank you for all you do.
Philip Mifsud says
Thanks a lot Mod. You are making me more love this language because you do it with so nice teaching. This lesson about months is so interesting. Thanks a lot and I am grateful fir your teaching.
Colleen Setchell says
This is really interesting. I was finding the months quite hard to learn but this will certainly help.
Keep up your great teaching, it is helping me a LOT. I recently moved to Hat Yai and am teaching English here.
Thank you for reading my post and watching my video. I am glad to hear that you found it useful in your Thai learning:)
Khru Mod thank u. You are always wonderful, very creative and instructive videos. I recommend u to all my friends. Thank you for answering my sms to u, as u see I am already your fan on facebook. Kwarp khun khrap.