Thai Culture

Thai Greetings

In Thailand it is common to see people perform a wai which is a gesture of respect, greetings and good-bye. Foreigners may compare it to a handshake, but the wai is more than just a greeting. The wai is also used for paying respect, expressing thanks or bidding farewell. The wai is made by putting the hands and fingers together in a praying position at chest level, similar to the shape of a lotus bud. The head is tilted forward until the forehead touches your fingertips.
When making a wai, say « Sawasdee » when greeting or saying goodbye. You can also make a wai when saying « Khob khun » (thank you).

Loy krathong

One of the most beautiful and popular festivals in Thailand is Loy Krathong. This takes place on the full moon in November. During the evening, many people will go to their local klong (canal) or river to float their krathongs which is a small woven basket. The krathongs (see picture left) contain a flower, a coin, a candle and three incense sticks which are lighted before being placed on the water. They believe this will bring them good luck. The people usually make a wish at the same time. Some people believe that if the candle remains burning until the krathong is out of sight then their wish will come true. By the end of the evening, there are hundreds of flickering lights bobbing up and down on the water. Quite often there are also firework displays as well as shows and beauty contests for everyone. The ladies often wear the tradition Thai dresses that are colorful and beautiful. Overall it is really a memorable evening.

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