Thailand bans alcohol sales for Visakha Bucha Day on May 22

Picture courtesy of The Pattaya News

Visakha Bucha Day, also known as Vesak, will be observed on May 22, marking a public holiday in Thailand. On this significant Buddhist day, the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in convenience stores and entertainment venues, as per Thai law.

Vesak Day is a cornerstone of Buddhist religious observance in Thailand, commemorating three pivotal events in the life of the Buddha: his birth, enlightenment, and passing away. These events coincided on the same day, which is the full moon day of the sixth lunar month, making it a day of profound spiritual importance for Buddhists.

The teachings of the Buddha associated with these events revolve around gratitude, the Four Noble Truths, and mindfulness. To honour these teachings, Buddhists engage in various religious activities such as making merit, listening to sermons, and performing acts of worship to foster peace and happiness.

Due to the religious significance of Vesak Day, the prime minister’s Office has mandated that the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. An official announcement titled Designation of Prohibited Days for Alcohol Sales 2015 explicitly states:

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“No one is allowed to sell alcoholic beverages on Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, Asalha Bucha Day, the Beginning of Buddhist Lent Day, and the End of Buddhist Lent Day, except for duty-free shops within international airport terminals.”

Moreover, the Alcohol Control Act of 2008, Section 32, reinforces these restrictions by prohibiting the advertisement of alcoholic beverages or the display of related names or trademarks in any way that encourages drinking, either directly or indirectly.

On Vesak Day, the prohibition on the sale of alcohol spans from midnight to midnight. This means that consuming alcohol on Vesak Day is viewed as inappropriate due to the sacred nature of the day, and selling alcohol is illegal except within duty-free shops at international airports, reported The Pattaya News.

In addition to the alcohol ban, banks, government offices, including Immigration, and some private businesses will close for the day.

Pattaya News


Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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