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The Thai Calendar

The Thai calendar is based on the death of Buddha, which is believed to be 543 years before the date Jesus Christ is said to have been born. A Thai king made the months and days match the Christian-based calendar, but left the year based on Buddha's death.

While traveling in Thailand I decided to start using the Thai system for dating my entries.

Today for example, is April 26, 2012 using the Christian-based calendar. But in Thailand the date is April 26, 2555, using the Buddha-based system.

I hope that noting this difference will help people around the world remember that there is more than one way of looking at things -- even things which most of have taken for granted and have never questioned since they were taught to us as "normal" and part of our culture ever since we were young.

S. Hein
April 26, 2555
Ubon Ratchathani,


More notes on other calendars etc.

An interesting thing is that the first two people Thai people I asked both did not know why the Thai system is based on a date 543 years older than the Christian system. One worked in a bank and another in a hotel. They both seemed a bit embarrassed by not knowing, and one said she would look it up later.

Now I am curious about the Jewish or Israeli system, and the Arabic system.....

Ok - So I read a bit about the Jewish or Hebrew system. It is a little complicated but it seems they base theirs on when they think the world was created so the "Hebrew year 5772 began at sunset on 28 September 2011 using the Christen-based system and will end on 16 September 2012 in the Christian system, or Sept 16, 2555 in the Thai system!

Now for the Arabic or Muslim calendar...

According to Wikipedia it is based on the travels of their prophet, Muhammad. Evidently starting with his trip from Mecca to Medina- so it isn't based on either when he was born or when he died!

Apparently it is now year 1443 for those who follow that system.

I suppose there are many other calendar systems in use, and of course used in the past. But I will stop with these for today.

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