Thai Women’s Day Date in the current year: August 1, 2024

Thai Women’s Day Thai Women’s Day is observed annually on August 1. It was inaugurated in 2003 in honor of Queen Sirikit, the queen consort of King Rama IX (Bhumibol Adulyadej).

Sirikit is the widow of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the mother of the incumbent King Maha Vajiralongkorn. During her husband’s reign, she was the queen consort of Thailand; after his death in 2016, she was bestowed the title of Queen Mother.

Sirikit was born on August 12, 1932 to Prince Nakkhatra Mangkala Kitiyakara and his wife Mon Luang Bua. She studied in Thailand until the age of 13 and then continued her education in the United Kingdom, where her father served as the ambassador to the Court of St James’s. While in Europe, she became fluent in English and French and learned to play the piano.

Sirikit met King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was her distant relative, at the Thai Royal Embassy in Paris. At that time, Sirikit lived in France, and Bhumibol came to visit from Switzerland where he was studying. They spent quite a lot of time together visiting tourist attractions and grew close upon finding out they had much in common.

In 1948, Bhumibol was injured in a car accident. Sirikit often visited him in a hospital in Lausanne where he was recovering. The king’s mother, Princess Sangwan, approved of their relationship and asked Sirikit to continue her studies in Switzerland, so that she was closer to the king and they could get to know each other.

Bhumibol and Sirikit had a quiet engagement in Lausanne on July 19, 1949 and got married on April 28, 1950, a week before Bhumibol’s coronation ceremony. After the coronation, the newlyweds returned to Switzerland to finish their studies and came back to Bangkok in 1952. When the king was temporarily ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1956, as per an old tradition, Queen Sirikit served as the Regent of Thailand, becoming the second female regent in the country’s history.

Bhumibol and Sirikit had four children: Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, Prince (later King) Maha Vajiralongkorn, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak. Throughout most of her marriage, Queen Sirikit took an active part in the life of the country, did a lot of charity work and promoted the history and culture of Thailand. She has refrained from public appearances since she suffered a stroke in 2012.

Thai Women’s Day was established in honor of Queen Sirikit in July 2003. The celebration was initiated by the Ministry of Interior, the National Council of Women of Thailand, and various women’s groups from all over the country. The date of August 1 was chosen to mark the start of festivities dedicated to the Queen’s birthday.

Thai Women’s Day is an official observance, but it isn’t a non-working day unless it falls on a weekend. Events and activities on the occasion of Thai Women’s Day are organized by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Department of Women’s Affairs and Family Development, and the National Council of Women of Thailand, under the patronage of Queen Suthida.

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Thai Women’s Day, holidays in Thailand, observances in Thailand, Thai observances, Queen Sirikit