21 Interesting Facts about Thai Culture (That You Didn’t Know)
Thailand is well-known for its friendly people, delectable cuisine, and beautiful beaches, yet there is much more to the nation than first appears. You might not be aware of many fascinating and distinctive facts about Thailand, ranging from peculiar superstitions to unusual traditions and customs. We’ll look at the amazing 21 interesting facts about Thai culture in this post, sure to surprise and fascinate you.
1. Thai people eat rice with spoons
Some might be surprised to learn that eating rice in Thailand traditionally involves using a spoon. Although they are becoming increasingly common in the nation, spoons are still the utensil of choice for eating rice. This is so that it will be simpler to eat since the texture of the rice makes it less difficult to scoop with a spoon.
2. Did you know that Thailand is said to be the only Southeast Asian Country that was never colonised?
One of the great things about Thailand is that it has a very long and proud history of independence along with the self-rule. Unlike various other countries, Thailand was never colonised by a foreign power. This shows the strength and power of their people. This has also allowed Thailand to maintain its unique culture and traditions for centuries.
3. Thais are said to use a unique numerical system
One of the fascinating facts about Thailand is that they are known for using their unique numerical system, which is quite different from the rest of the countries. For instance, if you look at the number 12, in Thailand, it is translated as “two ten” instead of “one ten,” like the way it uses mainly used in other languages. They use this system because it makes it easier for them to understand the numbers even if they do not know how to speak the language.
4. Thailand has their calendar
Thailand is known to have a calendar system that is quite fascinating. Thai people use a unique calendar mainly based on the Buddhist Era. It is also worth mentioning that this unique calendar is very different from the Gregorian calendar, mainly used in various other countries. Additionally, the calendar that Thai people use also highlights all the important holidays and festivals that take place in Thailand.
5. Using Wai-ing to greet each other in Thailand
You need to know that it is said to be customary for Thai people to greet each other with a “wai”, which is said to be a gesture of respect. But what exactly is a way, and how do you do a wai? You press your palms together in front of your chest and bow your head a little.
This is said to be a common way people greet each other in Thailand and shows the respect people have for each other. So next time you are in Thailand, don’t hesitate to greet people with a Wai-ing to show your respect.
6. Thai people celebrate King’s birthday
The king of Thailand is truly respected and highly revered by the country’s people. It is worth mentioning that the people of Thailand celebrate their king’s birthday every year with great fanfare. On that very day, the people of Thailand would gather to commemorate their king’s birthday, show their respect, and give him gratitude.
7. Their people also have their writing system
Yes, you heard it right! The Khmer language serves as the foundation for Thailand’s unique writing system. Both contemporary and traditional Thai are written using this style of script, known as “Thai script”. In other nations, the Thai language is also written using this system.
8. Thai people celebrate Songkran
The Thai New Year’s holiday, or Songkran, is said to be observed every April. People participate in several events during this period, including parades, processions, and water fights. It is said to be a time of pleasure, celebration, and a wonderful opportunity to learn about Thai culture and traditions.
9. Thai people practice unique martial arts
Thai martial arts, often known as “muay Thai” are a distinctive and historic branch of martial arts practiced for generations in Thailand. It is a very efficient self-defence and combat technique frequently utilised in sporting events and for training.
10. Thai people eat sticky rice
If you do not already know, Thai cuisine relies heavily on sticky rice, which is said to be a special kind of sticky, sweet rice. It is a fantastic way to add texture and flavour to meals, as it is typically served with savoury dishes.
11. Thai people follow a separate religion
Most people in Thailand practice Buddhism, which is, as you might know, the country’s official religion. This religion has been an integral element of Thai society for many years and closely relates to its past and traditions.
12. Thai people celebrate a special festival for the monks
Thai people observe “Kathin” annually, a special celebration honouring Thailand’s monks. People provided food and other stuff to the monks during this period.
13. There are traditional dances unique to Thai people
Thai traditional dances are a stunning as well as refined art form that is used to convey emotions as well as tell stories. These dances typically involve elaborate clothing as well as deft hand gestures. It is a wonderful way to understand Thai culture and history.
14. Thai people have their very own unique musical instruments
Thailand’s distinctive set of original instruments is used to produce lovely and complicated melodies. These instruments include gongs, flutes, xylophones as well as drums. Both contemporary as well as traditional Thai music utilises these instruments.
15. Thai has a unique and fun light festival
The festival of lights, known as LoiKrathong, is a particular event observed in Thailand. People will construct tiny boats out of banana leaves and candles during this time, which will be released into the lakes and rivers. It is a stunning sight to witness, as well as a wonderful way to learn about Thai culture as well as traditions.
16. The largest solid gold Buddha in the world is located in Thailand
An amazing fact about Thailand is that the largest golden Buddha in the world, PhraPhuttaMahaSuwanaPatimakon’s 15 ft tall golden statue is undoubtedly one of Thailand’s most magnificent signs. Although thieves have stolen from temples for millennia, the stucco protected this statue because of it. It is also worth mentioning that this Buddha statue is worth millions of dollars and to add on. It can weigh around 5.5 tons.
17. Monkeys rule in Lopburi
Have you ever wished to go to a city controlled by monkeys? If so, you should visit Lopburi, where macaque monkeys control the area around the city’s ancient center. At Lopburi’sPra Prang Sam Yot temple’s annual “Monkey Banquet Festival”, which is held in November, gets weirder.
Although it might not be as exciting as the fabled Songkran event, it is fascinating to observe 600 monkeys gorge on rice, sausages, salads, tropical fruits, and ice cream. The purpose of the celebration is for the locals to express gratitude to the furry critters for bringing tourists to the area and for the good fortune they believe it will bring them.
18. Siamese cats are from Thailand, and Thailand is said to be known as Siam
Did you know that the Siamese cats come from Thailand and that Thailand is known as Siam? Well, now you know! Thailand was formerly known as Siam, but then in 1939, it was officially known as Thailand. It is also worth mentioning that from 1945 to 1949, it was briefly changed to Siam again before settling on its present name. Anyway, did you know that Siamese cats first appeared in Thailand? Well, now you have the proper explanation behind the name. It is also worth mentioning that Siamese cats are regarded as lucky in Thailand.
19. Heads are said to be sacred, and feet are lowly
The head is regarded as the most significant feature of the body in Thai culture. Therefore, you must never touch another individual’s head, not even a child’s. On the other hand, Thai people view feet as being at the bottom of the body. Feet are viewed as representations of our ties to the soil, connecting our physical selves to anguish and hardship. For this reason, you should never display the bottoms of your shoes by putting your feet up on the table. And it is considered the height of impoliteness to point with your foot at someone else or even a statue at a temple.
20. Be mindful of your hand gestures
In Thai culture, impolite behaviour extends beyond only pointing or making foot gestures. It is also impolite to point at someone with your index finger. Additionally, Thais view the Western beckoning gesture as unfriendly. You should beckon folks in with your hand down instead of facing your palm up and waving your fingers at them. While shaking hands is not considered impolite, you will not see any Thai person doing so. Instead, they perform the “wai,” where they join their hands and raise them towards their faces while bowing. The more respect you show, the higher your hands shall be raised.
21. Thailand’s national anthem is played twice a day
If you ever find yourself in a public setting at 8 am or 6 pm, you should be ready to stand up, put down what you are doing, and remain silent throughout the playing of the national anthem.
Talking or remaining sitting while the national anthem is playing is said to be disrespectful and occurs to signal the raising and lowering of the Thai flag. Also, take note of the fact that each movie begins with the Thai national anthem. Make sure you watch the accompanying video, stand up, and keep quiet throughout to show respect.
Thailand is a nation rich in fascinating cultural details and historical information. There is much more to learn and understand about Thai culture and its rich past, from the country’s distinctive alphabet to its vibrant festivals.
The 21 interesting facts about Thai culture mentioned in this article will undoubtedly have got your attention, whether you’re hoping to learn more about the culture or are simply curious. You can explore Thailand the next time you book a trip there.