Social Customs And Traditions, Books On Customs And Traditions
Family Customs in Thailand
Thais still greet one another with the traditional wai, by bringing their hands together. The junior or inferior person always makes the gesture first. And the higher the hands are, the more the greeting conveys respect.
Thailand's classical arts have developed almost exclusively in the service of Buddhism. The best showcase is the wat. There you will find many statues of the Buddha, splendid murals depicting Buddha's life and folk-tales, fine woodcarving and stucco, dazzling lacquerwork, intricate mosaics of glass and mother-of-pearl, and above all the crowning glory of the unique upswept and sweeping and multi-tiered roofs, lined with brilliant tiles and often trimmed with golden ornaments.
Thai Society Celebrations
Thailand offers every ingredient for a truly memorable holiday. Forested mountains in the north. Lush tropical beaches in the south. Ancient temples and historical wonders scattered the length and breadth of the kingdom. National parks for those who want something more wild and energetic. Remote islands for those who want to get away from it all. And whichever experience you choose, one thing remains constant is the distinctive Thai ambience, shaped by the peace-loving Buddhist culture, the long-standing tradition of hospitality, and the Thais' love of fun.
Thais celebrate their past, their religion, their great historical and cultural events, the changes of the seasons, and the traditions of the agricultural calendar. Some festivals are national events or holidays and celebrated nationwide. Others are confined to one province or locality. Some are truly spectacular. Others are more modest. Most are characterized by good humor and religious devotion. All offer colorful insights into the lifestyle and culture. Many festival dates change each year, as they follow the lunar calendar.
Society Celebrations in Thailand
Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated nationally from 12th to 14th April. In Bangkok, festivities take place at Sanam Luang, where a revered Buddha image is bathed as part of the merit-making rituals. Over the years, the festival has become a boisterous affair of water throwing. Few people escape getting soaked. Visakha Puja in May marks the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha. It is celebrated with candlelight processions around important temples. At the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, held at Sanam Luang in May, oxen and Brahmin priests predict the coming agricultural season. The Golden Mount Fair is the best chance to see a typical Thai temple fair, complete with fun fair, performers and candlelight processions. The Trooping of the Colours in the Royal Plaza is the best of many nationwide celebrations marking King Bhumibol's birthday.