Thailand’s Father’s Day, also known as Wan Por, is an important day for Thai people and businesses. It is a day celebrated throughout the country but, due to Thailand’s unique relationship with their King, their Father’s Day is quite different from many other countries around the world.
So, how is Wan Por celebrated today? What does Father’s Day mean in Thailand? And what is the significance of the King to the way people celebrate Father’s Day in Thailand? In this blog we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about Wan Por: Thailand’s Father’s Day, including
- When is Wan Por?
- How do Thai people celebrate Wan Por?
- Interesting facts about Wan Por
- Father’s Day around the world
- What is the best way to send money to Thailand?
When is Wan Por?
Unlike many countries who celebrate Father’s Day in June, Thailand uniquely celebrates their Father’s Day (Wan Por) on the 5th of December. It is celebrated every year on this day because it is the day on which the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born in 1927.
In Thailand, the King is seen as the spiritual father of the nation. Therefore, while the day is the celebration of all father’s in Thailand, it is also known as the King Bhumibol Adulyadej Birthday Commemoration Day.
How do Thai people celebrate Wan Por?
Wan Por is a national holiday in Thailand. It is a chance for the people of Thailand to celebrate Fathers and recognise their contributions to themselves and the nation as a whole.
The day is also celebrated by paying respect to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. For many years, nationwide celebrations have taken place to honour the King. Many Thai people would wear yellow (a colour that represents Monday - the day the King was born) and have parties and parades in the streets. Traditionally the King also gives his annual speech on Father’s Day which will be listened to by millions of Thai people in the country and around the world. People will gather and sing a song to wish their King many happy returns. The language used to wish the King happy birthday and a good life is ทรงพระเจริญ – song-prá-jà-rern meaning ‘long live the King‘.
Traditionally, Thai children might pay respect to their fathers and grandfathers by giving them a canna flower or a “dok phutta raksa” (a flower that is similar to a lily). Wan Por is also about families. Across the country, families will be gathering in their homes, eating together, listening to music and paying tributes to Father’s and the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Interesting facts about Wan Por
- On Wan Por, the Bangkok Mass Transit System allows all fathers to travel for free if they are accompanied by their children. This scheme has been going for a few years now. It was implemented to mark the occasion, encourage quality family time and honour fathers.
- On Wan Por, elaborate light displays can be found in areas of Bangkok such as Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Phra Nakhon.
- Every Father’s Day in Thailand traditional ceremonies are held at the Sanam Luang Royal Ceremonial Ground - the site of King Bhumibol’s cremation.
- Wan Por is a national holiday and therefore schools, businesses and many official public offices are closed.
- King Bhumibol was born in Massachusetts, United States on the 5th of December 1927 and died in Bangkok, aged 88, on the 13th of October 2016.
Father’s Day around the world
Wan Por is Thailand’s unique take on Father’s Day. However, countries all around the world also celebrate Father’s Day in different interesting ways. Below we’ve highlighted a few of the ways Father’s Day is celebrated in countries around the world.
Father’s Day in France is observed on the third Sunday in June. Many years ago Father’s Day in France was marketed as an opportunity for you to buy cigarette lighters for your father. Today, lighters have mostly been replaced with small gifts or drawings. As with Thailand, Father’s Day has a greater meaning in France because it is linked to honouring Saint Joseph
Father’s Day in Brazil is held on the second Sunday in August. It is celebrated in honour of St.Joachim, the father of Mary, mother of Jesus. As with other countries, Father’s Day in Brazil has strong links to the national religion.
In Germany the tradition of Father’s Day is connected to Easter celebrations. On the 40th day of Easter, known as Ascension Day, German men will celebrate Father’s Day by organising hikes or gatherings. Plenty of food and alcohol is consumed and the focus is on children spending quality family time with their fathers’.
Mexico celebrates Father’s Day in style with plenty of colourful festivities and street parties. On the third Sunday in June, Mexicans honour their fathers with gifts and get the celebrations started with food and music. Some families also get together to participate in a traditional Father’s Day race in Mexico City called ‘Carrera Día del Padre 21K Bosque de Tlalpan”.
In China there is no official Father’s Day. But while China is missing out, Thai Father’s get to be spoiled by their children and celebrated throughout the country every Wan Por. As you can see Father’s Day is a great occasion in a variety of countries. It is a chance for families to spend some quality time together and an opportunity for fathers to relax.
How can Small World help you celebrating Wan Por
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