Thailand’s Customs and TraditionsThailand’s fascinating history shows its influence on customs and traditions. The traditional Thai culture derives many of its practices from Theravada Buddhism. Though you can sense a perfect blend of traditions from countries like China, India, South Korea and many other South Asian and Southeast countries. The reason being the Ayutthaya kingdom that was extremely welcoming to foreign traders from Asia, letting them set up villages outside the capital. Later European countries like France, Denmark became their trading partners.
Some of the customs followed by the Thai people are:
- A gesture of saying ‘Goodbye’ is known as Wai. There are many versions of it. The specific type of Wai is performed according to one’s social status. Also, who will do it first is decided by the social standards.
- Visiting someone’s home without any gift or entering a home without taking off your shoes is considered as a sign of disrespect.
- Thai people are extremely touch-sensitive. Hugging and holding hands with them must be avoided. Also, touching their heads is a big no-no.
- Raising your voice at Thai people in public is extremely unwelcoming and is a sign of great disrespect.
Some of the most famous architectural pieces are:
Wat Chedi Luang Varavihara
The Sanctuary Of Truth (Prasat Sut Ja-Tum)
Most popular Thai dishes are:
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green Chicken Curry)
- Songkran festival is celebrated every year on 13th April which also happens to be the Thai New year. Splashing water on loved ones is one of the key activities. It symbolizes the cleansing of all of one's sins done in the past year. Stunning dance performances and parades will await you on the streets. There is also a competition held for the Miss Songkran title.
- The Rocket festival is mainly celebrated by the farming community of Thailand. Rockets are flaunted all over the city before launching it. The highest climbing rocket will earn their owners a cash prize. The rockets are sent to please Gods for showering abundant rainfall.
- The most spectacular scenes can be captured during the Lantern festival. The sky illuminates while people release paper lanterns as a symbol of warding off the mishaps of the past year. It is mainly celebrated in the city of Chiang Mai.
- The Chinese New Year is celebrated all over Thailand because of a significant Chinese population. Traditional Dragon dancers will enthral you with their stunning performances. Delicious Chinese food and firecrackers will ensure all present will have a merry time.
Thailand’s Folk Dance and Music SceneThailand’s dances have its origins from Indonesia and Burma. Their elegant dance styles enabled various neighbouring countries to adopt a few of its practices. There are different sorts of dances for numerous purposes like celebrating festivals, religious functions, seasonal activities and enacting short tales from Ramayana. Broadly speaking there are 6 different dance types namely Khon, Lakhon, Ram Wong, Lakhon lek, Li-Khe and Nang Yai. Fawn Thai is another form of traditional dance that had recently become famous. It is mainly performed by females with a group of musicians playing at the background. There are five different types of it. Costumes in most of the folk dances are traditional with some being heavily ornamented. Thais have a rich musical culture. The earlier music chorus was Piphat and Khruang Sai. It mostly accompanied drama and folk dances. Luk Thung, Mor Lam and Kantrum are some of the other famous traditional music folklore. Western music garnered attention in the 30s. Jazz was widely accepted among the Thai people and it is still very much present.
Arts and Crafts in ThailandThailand’s art and craft has derived its roots mainly from Buddhism. You can see many sculptures of Buddha, with stories surrounding him carved on temples. Though it is not only limited to it. Beautiful silk, khon masks, puppets, stone carvings form an integral part of Thai art. While modern Thai art is a perfect blend of contemporary and traditional art forms. Statues of Gods and Goddesses, mirror art are some examples of it. Thai artworks got recognition worldwide, depicting its brilliance and is what keeps strong the culture of Thailand.
Bangkok and Southern parts. Other religions like Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism are present in lesser numbers. In spite of Thailand being a multi-diverse country, people live here harmoniously.
Be it the world-famous Thai cuisine or the exhilarating festivals or the unique folk dances, you will definitely enjoy this ever-enthusiastic landscape that is the culture of Thailand.