Traditionally, the year for expats in Thailand started in September when people were “back after the summer”. The year ended in June when it was time to “go back for the summer”. Although this pattern has its roots in old colonial British times, many expats still follow roughly that year and enjoy a long summer vacation back home before coming back for a long straight period of work during autumn, winter and spring.
Many young people employed on local contracts – tend however to break away from the colonial expat life cycle and follow instead the Thai year with the main vacation around Songkran in April.
The international schools follow the expat summer break rythm while local Thai schools follow the Thai calendar dating back to King Rama 6. According to that calendar, the new year starts on the 1st of April. So the students in a Thai school have year end exams in March and then go on a break until the school opens again in May.
Autumn in Thailand
In September, back after the summer, you can look forward to a straight ten months in Thailand. During that time, a wide variety of events are being organized and offered by the social associations and the various business associations.
One of the highlights in the autumn is the Crayfish Party organized by the Scandinavian Society Siam, usually the last Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October. SWEA and DWN has usually also a “welcome back” event. The same goes for the Scandinavian Expats in Pattaya and the Scandinavian associations in Hua Hin.
Throughout the autumn and the following spring, the Norwegian Church in Pattaya keep up an impressive number of well visited community events including of course the Sunday Christ services. The same is to a lesser extend the case for the Church of Sweden in Bangkok and Phuket
On 24 December, Christmas Eve, many Scandinavians in Bangkok join the Nordic service in Christ Church with the gospel read in all four home languages – plus sometimes even in Icelandic, too.
Spring in Thailand
Spring in Thailand can be an extremely hot season until the Songkran water festival, when the monsoon changes and we get rain and cooler winds..
For the golfers, Amundsen’s Cup usually in January is a must. For the Norwegians, the annual Seafood Under the Stars-dinner is another highlight some weeks later.
The spring is also the season for all the Annual General Meetings with selection of new members to head the different boards of directors, SWEA, TSCC and DTCC have their meetings in March, so does the the Nordic associations in Hua HIn, SSS hold their event in late April. The Thai-Finnish Chamber of Commerce – the first of the Nordic bussiness associations – hold their AGM in August.
Many people feel that time goes faster in Thailand than back home. That is of course nonsense, but suddenly it is indeed June again and another year has gone. Time to go “back for the summer”.
The calendar on scandasia.com gives the most comprehensive overview Nordic events. Other communities have similar online communities, where you can also subscribe to emails and join in chats. Much is also organised using the services for groups offered on Facebook.