A popular time to be in Thailand for a golfing holiday is in February, which often coincides with Chinese or Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Pig and the start of the New Year falls on February 18.
The first-time Thailand golf visitor may register a bit of confusion as to why the timing of some important Buddhist and traditional holidays seems to float across the calendar rather than occurring on fixed days each year as is customary in the West. The answer is such holidays are scheduled according to the ancient Thai lunar calendar, rather than the western Gregorian calendar which has been official in Thailand for many years.
However, the traditional lunar calendar is very much in use for determining Thai holidays. Rural Thais still mostly count the date according to the phases of the moon, and Thai calendars commonly show both the western date together with the Thai lunar date. Astrologers also use lunar calendars to fix auspicious days for weddings, journeys, new houses, and similar important occasions.
The Thai lunar calendar is divided into twelve months, like the western calendar, but the months are determined by the phases of the moon, not the position of the earth in relation to the sun. Half of the lunar months are 28 days long and the other half are 29 days long. Because of cyclical lunar dating, the first day of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. On the Chinese calendar, 2007 is Lunar Year 4704 – 4705. On the Western calendar, the start of the New Year falls on February 18, 2007 — The Year of the Pig – except (just for more confusion, in Northern Thailand (Lanna) where the year of the Elephant is substituted for the year of the Pig!
If you were born in 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983 or 1995, you were born under the Pig sign. Like the pig, you are highly regarded for your chivalry and pureness of heart, and you often make friends for life. For Pigs in 2007, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally, and particularly, on the golf course!
If you happen to be golfing in Thailand in the next 2 weeks, check out the many events held around Thailand. In Phuket there is the Wat Chalong Fair, held this year February 16 to 22. Each day features live entertainment and hundreds of stalls selling food and wares. The fair is free and start’s at 16:30 each day. Thai country music stars, will perform live at the fair from 22:00 to midnight. There will be live performances of traditional Thai shadow plays until 2 am as well. It’s all great fun!
For golfers in the capital, Bangkok’s Yawarat district is holding its own celebration. Roads will be closed to traffic (a good thing) each day from noon to midnight and various activities will be conducted to celebrate the Chinese Lunar Year. Acrobatic shows. lion dances, and the world’s longest golden dragon will highlight the week long celebrations.
If anyone has any golfing or other good ideas for the Lunar New year, please feel free to post a comment here of if you prefer drop me a line at my Thailand golf vacation company and I will take care of the posting duties. Good luck and great golfing to all for the Year of the Pig!