Thailand's four southernmost provinces - Narathiwat, Pattani, Satun and Yala - are the only provinces in predominantly Buddhist Thailand to enjoy a public holiday on the Hijri, or Islamic, New Year.
The four provinces this year would also get the Chinese New Year off, which falls on January 23, government spokesman Anusorn Iamsaat said.
The population in the four provinces is more than 80 per cent Muslim of Thai-Malay descent with the remaining 20 per cent being primarily of Thai-Chinese descent.
Anusorn said the change was made so that the Thai-Chinese and Muslim populations were treated equally.
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