Religion

Thailand has a more vibrant, colourful and longer history than most countries, this is reflected in the Culture of the country still followed today.

thai cultureThailand is nearly 95% Theravada Buddhist, with minorities of Muslims (4.6%), Christians (0.7%), Mahayana Buddhists, and other religions.

Most Thai people own spirit houses, miniature wooden houses in which they believe household spirits live. They present offerings of food and drink to these spirits to keep them happy. If these spirits aren’t happy, it is believed that they will inhabit the larger household of the Thai, and cause chaos.

These spirit houses can be found in public places and in the streets of Thailand, where the public make offerings.

Food In Thailand

Thai cuisine is famous for the blending of four main tastes:

sweet (sugar, fruits, sweet peppers), spicy hot (chilies), sour (vinegar, lime juice, tamarind), salty (soy sauce, fish sauce)

Most of the dishes in Thai cuisine try to combine most, if not all, of these tastes. It is accomplished by using a host of herbs, spices and fruit, including: chili, galangal, garlic, lime leaves, basil, sweet basil, lime, lemongrass, coriander, pepper, turmeric, and shallots.

Sports In Thailand

By Far the most Popular and inportant sport in Thai History and Culture Is Muay Thai – It is now considered the Worlds most affective Martial Art -click here for further details

The most popular team sport in Thailand is football (also know as association football or soccer). However, the professional leagues Thai League and Pro League in Thailand are in their infancy. The English and Premiership have large followings. Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is probably the most popular spectator sport in Thailand. The other main indigenous sport is takraw, which is similar to volleyball, but played with the feet and a light rattan ball. There are several versions of the game with differing rules.

There is a Swan Boat circuit where the villages field teams compete. The international invitational race is usually in November.

Egg rolling once enjoyed national-pastime status, but famine and egg shortages around the middle of the last century caused it to retreat to rural villages, where it is still practised with traditional vigour.

Customs of Thailand

thai culture the waiOne of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai, which is similar to the Indian namaste gesture. Showing greeting, farewell, or acknowledgment, it comes in several forms reflecting the relative status of those involved, but generally it involves a prayer-like gesture with the hands and a bow of the head.

Physical demonstrations of affection in public are common between friends, but less so between lovers. It is thus common to see friends walking together holding hands, but couples rarely do so except in westernized areas.

A notable social norm holds that touching someone on the head may be considered rude. It is also considered rude to place one’s feet at a level above someone else’s head, especially if that person is of higher social standing. This is because the Thai people consider the foot to be the dirtiest and fattest part of the body, and the head the most respected and highest part of the body. This also influences how Thais sit when on the ground—their feet always pointing away from others, tucked to the side or behind them. Pointing at or touching something with the feet is also considered rude.

It is also considered extremely rude to step on a Thai coin, because the king’s head appears on the coin. When sitting in a temple, one is expected to point one’s feet away from images of the Buddha. Shrines inside Thai residences are arranged so as to ensure that the feet are not pointed towards the religious icons—such as placing the shrine on the same wall as the head of a bed, if a house is too small to remove the shrine from the bedroom entirely.

It is also customary to remove one’s footwear before entering a home or a temple, and not to step on the threshold.

Thailand Public and Bank Holidays, 2010

In Thailand there are many different regional festivals, but not all of those are official public holidays. The following is the official government list of dates for holidays in Thailand during 2009.
What does this mean to you as holiday makers? Well in a nutshell it means the vast majority of bars are closed. They are also closed for elections etc. But should you find yourself getting a little thirsty during one of these days, just drop us a line, and we can help :)

January

January 1 (Thursday) – New Year’s Day

January 2 (Friday) – Additional holiday granted by government

February

February 9 (Monday) – Makha Bucha Day

April

April 6 (Monday) – Chakri Day

April 13-15 (Monday-Wednesday) – Songkran Festival

May

May 1 (Friday) – National Labour Day

May 5 (Tuesday) – Coronation Day

May 8 (Friday) – Visakha Bucha Day
July

July 1 (Wednesday) – Mid-year Closing (Bank Holiday but not a public holiday)

July 7 (Tuesday) – Asahna Bucha Day
August

August 12 (Wednesday) – H.M. Queen’s Birthday
October

October 23 (Friday) – Chulalongkorn Day (Rama V Day)
December

December 7 (Monday) – Substitution day for H.M. King’s Birthday

(which is on Saturday, December 5)

December 10 (Thursday) – Constitution Day

December 31 (Thursday) – New Year’s Eve