Two public holidays coincide Oct. 13 & 14

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Rama IX Day & End of Buddhist Lent

October 13, 2019, marks the third anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death.

The government has designated Oct. 13 as a national holiday, and since this year the date falls on a Sunday, a bank holiday will be observed on Monday, Oct. 14. All banks and government offices are closed for the day. However, some bank branches in shopping malls may be open to cater to foreign exchange, and most exchange booths throughout the city will be open.

Last year, the bars and entertainment venues were closed and the selling of alcohol was prohibited in observance.

The government invites all to wear yellow and make merit in the morning. People may offer to take part in public services such as road or beach cleaning, picking up garbage, distributing food, and doing other good deeds.

Sunday, Oct. 13 also signals the end of Buddhist Lent. Also known as Auk Pansaa, the event is celebrated on the full moon night of the eleventh lunar month of the year. The event also marks the “official” end of the rainy season, even though the weather might not necessarily cooperate.

The following day is Thod Kathin, which involves the annual presenting of clean new robes to monks.

A great number of lay people will be gathering at their local temples to pay their respects, make merit, perform the Tak Bat Dhevo ceremony and place steamed rice wrapped in coconut palm leafs, called “kao tom hang”, into monks’ alms bowls. Other religious ceremonies will also take place at local temples.