It’s 2023, right?
Nope, it’s actually the year 2566 in Thailand!
That’s a full 543 years ahead of the rest of the world!
Why does Thailand use a different calendar?
Well it’s because Thailand is a Buddhist country. So the start of the calendar is at a significant moment in the history of Buddhism.
In this case, the Thai Buddhist calendar starts at the death of Buddha (when he supposedly reached nirvana).
Contrast that with the traditional western (Gregorian) calendar which has a starting point related to Christianity (at the birth of Jesus Christ).
Although you will often see the “western year” in Thailand too, the Thai Buddhist calendar is the one generally used by the Thai people.
So to summarize:
What year is it in Thailand?
It is 2566 (BE) in the Thai Buddhist calendar (in the current year of 2023). BE stands for the Buddhist Era.
How do I calculate the year in Thailand?
Simply take the current year + 543 to get the year in Thailand.
So in this case 2023 + 543 = 2566.
Why does Thailand have a different calendar?
Because Thailand is a Buddhist country, they start their calendar at a significant moment in Buddhism’s history: the death of the Buddha.
Is the Thai Buddhist Calendar used all over Thailand?
Yes, the year in Thailand is 2566 all over Thailand, although most people will also keep up with the western calendar and know that it is 2023.
Do other countries follow the Buddhist Year System?
Yes, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka also follow a Buddhist year system.
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