Facts about Mother’s Day in Thailand

Mother’s Day or “Wan Mae” is a big deal in Thailand, and it reflects the culture’s familial values. Since motherhood is one of the most-respected roles in Thai society, the day is particularly important for Thai people. Not only do the people in the country honour their mothers, but the day is also widely celebrated with ceremonies, performances, and parades. Read on for some interesting facts and history about Mother’s Day in Thailand.

1. Mother’s Day in Thailand falls on Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s Birthday

Unlike in the West, where Mother’s Day is always on the second Sunday in May with a different date each year, Thailand celebrates the day on 12 August. The first Mother’s Day in Thailand was celebrated on 15 April 1950. However, the date was changed in 1976 to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirkit.

Mother's day in Thailand
A garland of jasmine, a common Mother Day’s gift | IMAGE: freepik

2. Mother’s Day is a public holiday and people commonly spend time with their mothers

Mother's day in Thailand
PHOTO: Freepik

In many countries like the United States, Mother’s Day is not a public holiday. In Thailand, people usually have the day off from work. This allows people to go home and spend time with their families. Since Mother’s Day in 2022 falls on a Friday, many people will have an extra-long weekend to spend time with their mothers. Therefore, there will be many family gatherings and celebrations throughout the weekend.

3. Mother’s Day celebrations start early in the morning and end at night

Mother's day in Thailand
PHOTO: Making merit to monks via iStock

Mother’s Day and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s birthday celebrations start early in the morning with alms-giving. People give offerings of Food to Thailand’s Buddhist monks in the morning when monks are making their daily rounds as a way of making merit. A lot of people also take a trip to the local temple for more merit-making.

In certain areas in Thailand, people will gather and celebrate together. In most cases, there will be a big state where people can offer gifts on stage. You can also expect to see performances of traditional Thai dancing. It’s common for people to wear light blue, the same colour as the Queen’s individual flag, when attending these events.

In addition, Mother’s Day and Her Majesty Queen Sirkit’s birthday is often celebrated with candle-lighting ceremonies and firework displays. In Bangkok, evening celebrations most often include fireworks and light shows. You can find the festivities along the Ratchadamnern Road, Sanam Luang, and the area around the Grand Palace.

4. Schools host special Mother’s Day ceremony

Facts about Mother's Day in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: iStock

Schools also organise Mother’s Day celebrations with special ceremonies and performances. Students usually spend weeks practising for this event. Aside from performances, children will individually honour their mothers. Mothers of the students attend the ceremony, and children kneel at their mother’s feet to convey respect and love. In this happy and proud moment, mothers frequently wipe their tears, and many children do the same.

5. The traditional Mother’s Day gift

Facts about Mother's Day in Thailand | News by Thaiger
IMAGE: Unsplash

Jasmine is a traditional Mother’s Day gift in Thailand. Called dok mali (ดอกมะล) in Thai, the flower is seen as a symbol of gentleness, grace, and purity. The fact that jasmine blooms all year long serve as a reminder of the enduring care that mothers give. Jasmine is, therefore, a very poignant emblem for Mother’s Day in Thailand.

Reflecting maternal love and motherhood, the flower is usually sold as blossoms and in elaborate garlands. Children will often get garlands and bouquets of jasmine flowers for their mothers. Lots of children also make their own garlands for their mothers as a special way to show affection. Synthetic jasmine pins are also sold all across the country.

Today, people give chocolate and other items in addition to jasmine to make their mothers feel special.

6. There’s a special Mother’s Day song in Thailand

Facts about Mother's Day in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Freepik

Thailand has a special Mother’s Day song that has been around for decades. The song was written by a man named Paiboon Butkan, who wrote the song as a tribute to his mother. The focus of the song is the singer’s everlasting gratitude for his mother. This song has evolved into somewhat of an anthem for the unbreakable relationship between mother and child over time. It’s a powerful song, and a lot of Thai people can sing along to it. You’ll likely hear this song playing at school performances and karaoke machines at family gatherings during Mother’s Day celebrations.

7. People kneel before their mothers as a way to show respect

Mother's day in Thailand
PHOTO: Freepik

Just like many other holidays and observances in Thailand, there’s a special way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Besides making merits to monks and going home on holidays to spend time with families, Thai people will also take a moment to kneel and prostrate themselves before their mother. Thai people do this to show the utmost respect and honour to their mothers. At this point, people will also give their mother a garland or bouquet of jasmine. The mothers will then bestow blessings upon their children. The gesture is brief but compelling as it demonstrates the deep bond between mother and children even after the children grow up and become adults.

8. Many families make a charitable donation

Facts about Mother's Day in Thailand | News by Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash

As part of the celebration, many families make a generous donation to a worthy cause. Most people visit a local orphanage to make their contribution. They do this to pass on the love and care they’ve received from their mothers to less fortunate children.

9. Restaurants usually have special promotions

Mother's day in Thailand
PHOTO: iStock

Lots of people take their mothers out for a special meal on Mother’s Day for lunch or dinner. That’s why you’ll find many restaurants and hotels across the country offering special promotions on Mother’s day, allowing children to enjoy some quality time with their mothers.

Mother’s Day in Thailand is coming up soon, so now is the best time to prepare for the celebrations and make our mothers feel special!


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Cita Catellya

Cita Catellya is an experienced journalist and writer who covers a range of topics from medical and property to leisure and tourism. Her career began as a copywriter 5 years ago, where she worked with several brands in Indonesia to help them increase their online presence. Cita writes in both English and her native Bahasa Indonesia