08 May 2009
Also known as Buddha Day.
This week has been scattered with holidays. Thai Labour Day was last Friday, though we did not have it off. Our local staff were a bit surly, having to work, but given that they have both American as well as most Thai holidays, it is hard to sympathise. Tuesday this week was Coronation Day, during which the country's ailing king did make an appearance. Today, Buddha. Perhaps an equivalent of your Easter.
Many Buddhists visit the wats today, making their prayers, and the monks doing their rites in honour of Buddha.
As one whose family practised a mix of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confuscian religions, the Buddhism in Thailand wasn't as exotic as it probably would be to others. However, the Buddhism I'm more familiar with is a different school of Buddhism- Mahayana - one that in my perhaps prejudiced mind is less elaborate and traditional and more adaptive. Theravada Buddhism, on the other hand, is core to the Thai region and laden with very old ways of thinking.
Although even the Buddha statues are different, I can recognise and relate to a lot of structures, layouts, practices.. but I have yet, for the life of me, figure out why such an ugly pressence has to be labeled "Mom."