Thailand Constitution Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Thailand Constitution Day is annually celebrated on 10th December. However, if it falls on the weekend then it is celebrated on the following which is the case this year and hence we are celebrating Constitution Day on 12th December this year. 

This day is a celebration of the day Thailand adopted the first permanent constitutional monarchy in 1932. This day is also commemorated only a few days after Thai Father’s Day.  

This is celebrated as a public holiday in the country. On this day, all government offices, schools, and banks are closed, and some areas will hold parades, fireworks, and festivities.   

Event Thailand Constitution Day
Date December 12, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The celebration commemorates the establishment of the first permanent constitutional monarchy in 1932
Observed by Thailand

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Thailand Constitution Day History: 

The Rattanakosin Kingdom and the four traditionally counted preceding kingdoms, collectively called Siam, had an uncodified constitution until 1932. In the preamble to the Penal Code promulgated 1 April 1908, which came into effect on 21 September, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) stated: “In the ancient times the monarchs of the Siamese nation governed their people with laws which were originally derived from the Dhamasustra of Manu, which was then the prevailing law among the inhabitants of India and the neighbouring countries.” 

At the start of the 1930s, Thailand (then called Siam) was suffering economically from the effects of the great depression. The king at the time was Rama VII, who was seen by many as lacking the experience necessary to deal with all the issues that were affecting his country. This led to a group of intellectuals and senior military personnel forming a group called the people’s party who presented the king with the option to stay in power but have his power reduced, creating a constitutional monarchy.

As a result then King Rama VII endorsed the nation’s first constitution, beginning its journey to a democratic government which lives up to its subsequent and present name, “Thailand,” meaning “land of the free.” Under the new constitution, the institution of the monarchy remained in place with the King as the head of state. On December 10th, 1932, Thailand fully transitioned from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy. Five years later, the first direct elections for the legislature were held in November 1937. 

Since 1932, Thailand has had 20 constitutions or charters. Many of the redrafted versions, from which the authority to implement all other laws is based, have been adopted following military coups, including the current administration, which introduced its version on April 6th 2017. The one constant has been that all the changes are a variation of a constitutional monarchy. This constant of the monarchy during times of great change reflects the respect and admiration that the Thai people have for their monarchy. 

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Thailand Constitution Day Significance: 

Constitution Day in Thailand, bang in the middle of calls for a rewrite of the document and demands for the role of the Thai monarch to be codified in a new Thai Constitution. The day commemorates 20 different Thai Charters that have been scrapped and re-written since the Siamese Revolution in 1932. It’s a public holiday around Thailand. The Thai people refer to their country as “Mueang Thai” (land of the free) but foreigners were historically accustomed to call Thailand “Siam”.

The constitutional monarchy’s goal was to give the power of the land to the people. The celebration is an excellent reminder of the people’s freedom and human right. As it is the people’s responsibility to maintain the freedom and human rights in their country by ensuring that their leaders provides them all of their rights guaranteed by the constitution of Thailand. Hence this day also serves as a political awareness day for the people of Thailand awaring them about their rights and the importance of protecting them for the welfare of people. 

The constitutional monarchy wouldn’t exist without King Rama VII’s approval. However, he made sure to prioritize the betterment of his people. This is the day to show gratitude to the monarchs by celebrating their kindness and consideration when Thailand needed change and support the most. As Thailand transition from an absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy was a bloodless coup as the king accepted it for thr welfare of his people instead of getting hungry for power which was the case for most countries around the time. 

Overall Thailand Constitution Day today serves as a moment of celebrations for the people of Thailand to celebrate their identity, culture, traditions, cuisine and everything of Thailand. This is a day for the people of Thailand to express pride and honor towards their identity with full celebrations while expressing their patriotism and live for the country as well. And as said earlier this day also makes people aware about the importance of constitution and the freedom and rights guaranteed to them by it.  

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Thailand Constitution Day Celebrations: 

The most traditional way to celebrate Thailand’s Constitution Day is by attending the lavish parades in the state capital city of Bangkok. The king’s images are usually displayed across the country to show people’s gratitude and appreciation of the monarch and obviously towards the constitution of the nation. 

Fireworks display is another major part of the celebrations for the Constitution Day in Thailand. The people of Thailand take their family members and friends to enjoy the sight of fireworks across the country. Firework displays are a staple during this holiday. 

The people of Thailand also use this occasion to spend some time with their family and friends. Thailand’s Constitution Day is usually at the start or end of a long weekend, which is a great opportunity to enjoy this extra time with family members and friends as a way to celebrate. 

Thailand Constitution Day FAQs: 

1. When is Thailand Constitution Day celebrated? 

Thailand Constitution Day is annually celebrated on 10th December. However, if it falls on weekend it is celebrated the following Monday. 

2. What does Thailand Constitution Day commemorates? 

This day is a celebration of the day Thailand adopted the first permanent constitutional monarchy in 1932. 

3. Does Thailand have freedom of speech? 

Yes, freedom of speech was part of the guarantees since the 1997 Constitution.

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