AsianInfo.org supports I.C.E.Y. - H.O.P.E. (non-profit org)
(International Cooperation of Environmental Youth - Helping Our Polluted Earth) 

 

Countries / Regions


Areas of Interest

Culture/Tradition

Map of Thailand

thailand.jpg (269448 bytes)
Click for Large View

 

Viewer's Corner

 
Publish your story on AsianInfo.org - Personal experiences, opinions, articles, or any information related to Asia.  More Info...

 

Asianinfo Photo Gallery
Photos of Asia now available for purchase 

FREE Photos available!

IMG_0122 copy.JPG (69431 bytes)
Korea

Thailand

Indonesia


Malaysia

Hong Kong


Singapore

Japan

Shanghai


USA


Israel

 
 

Thailand Main Page

 

Religion/Philosophy in Thailand


Over 90 percent of Thais follow Theravada Buddhism (a branch of Hinayana Buddhism), and Buddhism is the most powerful force in the nation's culture. In keeping with Buddhist teaching, we are a peace-loving nation. Muslims are the second-biggest religious group with a following of almost 4 percent of the population, but there are also Christians, Hindus and other faiths. 

Thailand protects religious liberty, even though the national religion is Buddhism and most Thais are Buddhist.   The people of Thailand are free to worship and profess any religion as long as it doesn't go against "good morals," public order or a person's civic duties. This is written in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Section 25, along with the statement that "every person shall be protected from any act by the State, which is derogatory to his right or detrimental to his due benefits on the ground of professing a religion, ...denomination, ...tenet, ...or exercising a form of worship in accordance with his belief which is different from that of others.

Over 90 percent of Thais follow Theravada Buddhism (a branch of Hinayana Buddhism), and Buddhism is the most powerful force in the nation's culture. In keeping with Buddhist teaching, we are a peace-loving nation. Muslims are the second-biggest religious group, but there are also Christians, Hindus and other faiths. Tolerance is total, and there is no history of religious conflict.

    The Buddha was born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in India during the 6th century BC. He gave up his riches to seek enlightenment, and later he taught others to follow his path. Buddhism first came to Thailand a few centuries after Buddha's death, and became a dominant force by the Sukhothai era. Statues of the Buddha and murals depicting his previous ten lives can be found throughout Thailand.


    Buddhism continues to exert a strong influence on daily life. Senior monks are highly revered. In towns and villages the temple (wat) is the heart of social and religious life. Each wat is a cluster of buildings including a meeting hall, lodging for the monks, an ordination hall, and perhaps a library. The features of each building, and the overall layout, are governed by established principles. The architecture varies between historical periods.

The Rocket Festival, perhaps the most thrilling of Thailand's regional celebrations. Large and elaborately decorated rockets are shot into the sky to ensure good rains, and the accompanying revelry is very high-spirited. The Phi Ta Khon Festival at Dan Sai and Loei in June centers on a parade of people dressed as ghosts following a Buddha image through the streets of the town to make Buddhist merit and call for rain. The beginning of the Buddhist "rains retreat" in July sees a host of festivals. In Ubon Ratchathani's Candle Festival, huge and intricately carved beeswax candles are paraded through the town and presented to temples where they are lit throughout the rainy season. The national holiday at the end of the "rains retreat" in October is celebrated in particular style at Nakhon Phanom with the Illuminated Boat Procession. Intricately fashioned model boats carrying single candles are set adrift on the Mekong River at nightfall.

 

Gulf of Thailand
    The Pattaya Festival in April is a week-long non-stop carnival featuring floral float parades, beauty contests and firework displays. One of Thailand's most colorful water festivals is the Rub Bua (receiving the Lotus) Festival, celebrated in late October at Bang Phli, just south of Bangkok. A locally revered Buddha image is paraded by barge along the canal while local people shower it with thousands of lotus buds. Other events include boat races, boxing matches fought on poles placed across the canal, and likay theatre shows.

    Another reason for Buddhism's strength is that there are a few Thai Buddhist families in which at least one male member has not studied the Buddha's teachings in a monastery. It has long been a custom for Buddhist males over twenty, once in their lifetimes, to be ordained for a period ranging from 5 days to 3 months. This usually occurs during the annual Rains Retreat, a 3-month period during the Rains Season when all monks forego travel and stay inside their monasteries.

    Meditation is one of the most popular aspects of Buddhism, practiced regularly by numerous Thais, both monks and lay people, as a means of promoting inner peace and happiness. Visitors can learn the fundamentals of meditation at several centers in Bangkok and elsewhere in the country.

 

Links to other websites...

Back to Top...

 


Click Here...


AsianInfo.org supports I.C.E.Y. - H.O.P.E. (non-profit org)
(International Cooperation of Environmental Youth - Helping Our Polluted Earth)

 

 
 
 
Cheap Airline Tickets

Discount Hotels

Rental Car Deals

 


 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Disclaimer:  AsianInfo.org does not guarantee the complete accuracy of the information provided on this site or links.  Do your own research and get a professional's opinion before adhering to advice or information contained herein.  Use of the information contained herein provided by AsianInfo.org and any mistakes contained within are at the individual risk of the user. 

(We do not provide links to, or knowingly promote, any violent or pornographic sites.)


Suggestions  |  Organization Info  |  Become a Sponsor Privacy Statement

 Copyright 2010 AsianInfo.org - All Rights Reserved.- Copyright Policy