Parties in Thailand

For sure, you have always wanted to go to an exotic country.  If so, let,s see where can you go. I only know the parties in Thailand. So i,m going to sum up the most important parties.

Thailand culture, customs and traditions

Songkran. Water War (13-15 April) currently 2559.

The Songkran is undoubtedly the great celebration in Thailand, the most important party in the country. Thailand is preparing to celebrate this holiday of the arrival of the new Thai year. In this festival, Buddhist ceremonies and cultural shows are held. As in other countries, families gather and renew family ties and show gratitude and respect to the elderly.

This festival embodies the deepest of Thai culture and water is one of the signs that plays the rituals celebrated during these days, it is a symbolic way to cleanse of the negative and start the new year with renewed energy.

At the party, people get together with their family and friends go out to the street to enjoy an authentic battle of water, eating and drinking together. The Songkran, which comes from the Sanskrit “samkranti” (astrological movement), coincides with the end of the dry season that precedes the monsoon rains, which are extremely important for rice crops in the region.

Probably of animistic origin, the festival refers to a Hindu story in which a god loses his head in a bet with a child and his daughters have to go over their heads so that they do not fall on the land or the sea and the destroy.

The Loi Krathong

Showing respect to the water (full moon of November)

It takes place on the full moon night of the twelfth month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar; in the western calendar it normally coincides with the month of November, when thousands of Thais go to rivers, lakes and marshes to put their Loi Krathong, which are little boats made of leaves with candles that float on the water. Thus, all rivers are filled with thousands of small lights floating.

In Chiang Mai the Loi Krathong, besides floating, fly. In the north it is tradition to let fly thousands of small hot air balloons. The word Loi means “to float” and Krathong is a raft of about a span in diameter traditionally made with a section of the trunk of the banana tree decorated with leaves of the same plant, flowers, lamps, incense sticks, etc although formerly, Thai people used to have their fingernails and hair cut, making them float also with rafts, as a symbol of the negative parts of oneself left behind.

Krathong

Many Thais believe that letting a “krathong” float will give them good luck and they do so in honor and gratitude to the water goddess, Phra Mae Khongkha. During the festival, fireworks shows and beauty contests take place. In addition to reverence Buddha with the lights of the candles of the small rafts, the act of navigating these by the river would symbolize the renunciation and overcoming of all the resentments, bad moods and weaknesses of each, in order to start a new life without them.

The festival probably originated in India; It would be, then, a Hindu festival similar to Diwali, in which floating lamps are placed on the Ganges as an expression of gratitude to the deity of the river for life granted throughout the year. According to the writings of HM King Rama IV (1863), the festival, Brahmanic in origin, would have been adapted by Thai Buddhists as a ceremony in honor of Lord Buddha.

The Phi Ta Khon

(The Party of the Ghosts (June 22-23)

Thais are, in general, very superstitious and many often believe in ghosts. Proof of this is this festival that takes place in the village of Dan Sai, in the northeast of Thailand, and in which processions of people disguised as ghosts are mounted. It is a kind of Thai Halloween with a lot of rice whiskey.

Phi Ta Khon It is one of the best known festivals within the group of Boon-Luang festivals or practiced in the Dan-Sai region of Loei province, in Northeast Thailand. This festival is organized in June, for general fun of the town and for reasons of superstition related to agriculture. In the festival there are many “Bang Fai” to worship Phaya Than who is the divinity that gives the rain to the earth.

Legend of the origin of the festival Phi Ta Khon has its origins in an ancient legend. Pra Wessandorn (name used to talk about the Buddha stage before Nirvana) and Pranang Matsri were finally returning to their city. Pra Wessandorn had left this, because at that time he had bad luck and for what he decided to leave the city, practice religious precepts and take good habits while living in the forest. Finally when he and his family had to return to the city and abandon the habits, many people (as well as spirits) wanted to say goodbye.  The festival of Phi Ta Khon imitates this part of Pra Wessandorn life.

Clothing: The most striking feature of the Phi Ta Khon festival are the traditional dresses. There are 2 types of Phi Ta Khon. They are Phi Ta Khon Yai (Phi Ta Khon large) and Phi Ta Khon Lek (Phi Ta Khon small). The dress of Phi Ta Khon Yai is made of woven bamboo imitating the figure of a ghost and is roughly 2 times higher than a normal person. Each year, only one man and one woman can dress in these dresses.

Differently, all people can put on the Phi Ta Khon Lek masks if they want, which are made of coconut leaves and Huad (a bamboo material used to cook glutinous rice) painted with many colors. The clothes are accompanied by very large noses and horns. In addition, they cover their bodies with colorful dresses that they have made with many small pieces of cloth.

 

Sak Yants: The Festival of tattoos

Every March, the Wat Bang temple of Nakhom Pathom, Thailand, becomes the scene of a strange festival known as the Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival or Sak Yant festival. This is perhaps one of the most peculiar holidays in the country. During the festival hundreds of people line up to get one of the Thai magical tattoos. Origin These traditional tattoos are known as Sak “Yant” their name derives from “sak” (tattoo) and “yantra” (geometric), since they are designs that must respect certain structure and codes.

It is believed that these tattoos grant all kinds of powers such as dodging bullets or attracting the person they love (Angelina Jolie has one destined for this). During the ceremony, many of the participants are possessed by spirits and momentarily become animals. While in most Western countries tattoos are seen as an art form, in Thailand, a country with a culture deeply rooted in superstition and spirituality, tattoos are considered more than works of superficial art.

At first the students practice on pig skin, and as they get better tattooed Thai models, who receive free tattoos. The five lines It is the most popular of the sak yants. Each line represents a spell, which said 108 times can take whoever has the tattoo to a higher level of meditation.

The meanings of lines:

  1. The first line avoids unjust punishments, cleans unwanted spirits and protects the home.
  2. The second turns bad horoscopes and bad luck.
  3. The third protects from black magic;
  4. The fourth favors good luck and
  5. The fifth stimulates the charisma and attracts the opposite sex.

The participants emulate the Thai warriors who tattooed animals several centuries ago convinced that these figures defended them in the innumerable wars waged with the armies of the neighboring kingdoms of Burma and Cambodia.

Thais consider that if they were covered by these tattoos their skins would be impenetrable during the battles. Design: The design should generally have some allusion to the tiger, a sacred animal for Buddhist monks that provides strength and protection, or a dragon, which means strength and wisdom.

In addition to animal forms, they include symbols and letters of the Thai alphabet. With the assistance of tens of thousands of people, the event becomes quite a show when the spirit-animal possessions begins. Some go into a trance for several minutes and scream like crazy, while others flap their arms like birds (God Garuda), make monkey (God Murugan) or move like reptiles (Goddess Naga). Some kneel to pray, others run terrified and others simply take pictures and enjoy the show.

The crowds surround and give way to the initiates who, after going through a deep trance on their way to the temple, come to invoke the spirits through their animal tattoos.

In the esplanade that opens around the temple the Buddhist monks, master tattooists, perform the Sak Yant ceremony using the mai sak, metal rod ending in a point. The ink that is introduced into the skin of the participants is made with the most diverse ingredients: herbs, snake venom and even cigar ashes.

Once the tattoo is completed the monk blesses it by blowing on the ink to infuse divine energy. The tattooed must abstain from that moment to drink alcohol and drugs of all kinds, in addition to stealing and lying.

After the ceremony, newly tattooed worshipers are protected from any type of body pain and, if they wish, they can return every year to the Sak Yant to renew their “powers” with new tattoos. In the end, the volunteers form a barrier to stop the “possessed”.

They often pinch their ears, for they say they eliminate the spirit that dwells in them. The tattoos are practically free, since the creators only ask for an offering. These consist of flowers, incense and cigars.

The total cost of this varies from 70 to 100thb. Most visitors leave extra offerings in cash to help maintain the temple and the monks who live there. At the end of the day the offerings are taken abroad to be sold again to the visitors, thus ensuring that they are consistent and sustainable when re-used. The majority of those who go into a trance are men, but women also target these tattoos. Because the monks should not have any contact with the female skin, the tattoo is performed by resting their hand on a small blanket or piece of paper, while two people (usually those waiting their turn to be tattooed), act as assistants holding the skin of the person who receives the Sak Yant.

Health

Monks use the same sharp point to make all the tattoos. They submerge it in alcohol between one and the other, but they use the same bucket of a mixture of ink, oils, snake venom and, of course, the remains of other people’s blood. They only use gloves or a piece of paper or cloth when tattooing women, but it goes without saying that they do not use face masks, so it is not the most healthy and sterile environment to do it.

Superstition

Thailand is a very superstitious country in which animism and popular beliefs are intermingled with Buddhism. More than one will think that this black magic sounds like a cheap horror movie. But in Thailand it does not sound like that. Superstitions and beliefs in the afterlife condition society and much. It’s not a matter of four cats in the northeastern towns. But something stuck in the minds of many Thais. Especially if they come from Chinese descent.

For example, whenever the army has to face a delicate mission, it goes to certain sorcerers who are said to be able to see the future. Or that in the coup détat of eight years ago they visited an important Cambodian shaman, who prepared the military to overthrow the then leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

The buffet for monkeys

The party of the primates

It happens every November and it’s called Monkey Festival and it’s cool. The small town of Lopburi (north of Bangkok) is famous for its ruins and its huge amount of monkeys. About 20 years ago, a local businessman put a free buffet for the monkeys to thank them for bringing so many tourists. Quickly the idea liked and became a tradition. Since then, every year thousands of people gather to feed the funny primates.

The party is as simple as it is effective: the Thai temple of Prang Sam Yot becomes the scene of a feast in which four tons of food and treats are offered to the local macaques, who are believed, in those surroundings, descendants of the God Hanuman. Thus, the monkeys taste at will and those attending theirs, in such a surreal event you can enjoy traditional music and dance performances with a choreography in which, of course, the dancers act as monkeys.

The offer is spectacular: vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, drinks and, especially, kilos and kilos of colorful and appetizing fruit arranged in striking pyramids.

For more information about Thai ghosts:  Learn more about Krassue.


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