Every year thousands of visitors are drawn into one of the most exotic kingdoms on earth, where they visits sacred temples, stroll along sandy white beaches and sample a world famous cuisine. Rich in history and Buddhist tradition, today’s Thailand is nation that dazzles with striking architecture, brilliant color and rich natural beauty. In a nation that is 90 % Buddhist; religious devotion is a way of life. More than 3000 temples dot the landscape, and symbols of a vibrant Buddhist faith are everywhere. So it is that tradition endorses in this once ancient kingdom, a land of abundant beauty and generosity, a place they call the land of smiling faces.
For 700 years this country was known as the kingdom of Siam and the ancient city of Ayutthaya was its bustling capital. Escaping the oppressive influence of the old Khmer Rouge regime. This new monarchy flourished as an independent nation. One largely free of major military conflict. By 1939 the county became known as Thailand, a word meaning land of the free. Today some 60 million people live in this country renowned for diversity and generosity of spirit. Like most countries, Thailand has been influenced by contact of foreign nations. But it is the only country in south East Asia that has never been colonized. This relative independence has contributed into a strong self identity that endorse today.
Buddhism, Faith & Stunning Temples
The people of Thailand are world renowned for their sense of fun and hospitality and yet they also share profound faith and a deeper spiritual side. To live a better life is the basic tenet of the Buddhist teachings. This philosophy lead t o a consciousness and to determination rarely seen elsewhere. The Thai people seem to share an innate sensitivity and they cherish their home land and traditions with deep passion. In recent years the Buddhist faith has attracted interest from all over the world, not just in areas where it has been traditionally practiced, but in Thailand Buddhism is the dean national religion with 90 % of the Thai people professing devotion to the Buddhist faith. The people practice a specific form of Buddhism known as Theravada. This style emphasizes any reflection and is different from the form of Buddhism practiced in china, Japan and Korea. For Buddhists, Buddha is not viewed as a god, but as a real person who achieved enlightenment through meditation and by leading a good life. This is what practicing Buddhists strive for and the many beautiful temples provide the back drop of their devotion. Visitors are quick to notice the abundance of color that promenades nearly every aspect of Thai culture. But these brilliant colors are not just there for show, in Thailand colors help to express various values and philosophies of living. From the temples to the markets, to their daily dress color is a key. For the Thais, relation with color is personal; color signifies pride and is evidence of their ties with the natural world. In Thai philosophy there are colors and accompanying characteristics fixed for each day of the week. In many parts of the world people ask what is your sign, but for Thai people it’s more like what’s your color. Not only do the days have a different color associated with them, but each day has a different Buddha as well. In the temple known as Watt Mahathir, there is an area where 8 Buddha statues are enshrined, one for each day of the week; there are 8 Buddha’s because Wednesday is a split day, with a Buddha for those born in the morning and another for those born at night. Each of these Buddhist statues has its own personality and distinct color.
Thailand is a tradition rich land with an unwavering quest for virtue. Every day Thai’s demonstrate their devotion to their heritage, to their faith and to this colorful land. By tradition of their Buddhist faith, they strive to live a better tomorrow while preserving the customs and attribute that are so uniquely Thai. In today’s ever-changing world upholding these high standards isn’t always easy but it is one of the most admirable attributes of Thai society
Come and witness the richness of Thailand