Thai Calendar

Thai Calendar

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).

When talking about ‘year’ with a Thai person, the number could cause you confusion if you don’t know about Thai calendar. So let’s learn a quick math lesson here. 🙂


The formula is super simple :

Thai year           = western year + 543

Western year    = Thai year – 543

( It is easy to remember 543, right?)


For example;

This year in Western Calendar is year “2015“, for Thai people this year is 2015 + 543 which equals “2558“.

Thai Calendar

Look at this dialogue:

Jim:          When is your birthday? วันเกิดคุณวันที่เท่าไหร่ wan-gèrd kun wan-tîi tâo-rài?

Nan:          21st December. วันที่ 21 ธันวาคม wan-tîi 21 duean tan-waa-kom

Jim:           What year were you born? คุณเกิดปีอะไร kun gèrd bpii à-rai?

Nan:          Year 2530 ปี bpii 2530

Jim:           I beg you pardon? 2530?

Nan:          It is the year in the Thai solar calendar or Buddhist Calendar that we use in Thailand. It began 543 years before the Christian Era.

Jim:           Ahhh… I see. So you were born in 1987 in Western Calendar.

Nan:          That is correct!


Hope this lesson helps  you communicate with Thai people better. 🙂

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One Response to Thai Calendar

  1. Le Thanh Ha 28/09/2017 at 14:54 #

    So useful

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