Category Archives: Culture

The Art of Thai Dance

Thai dance

Graceful, dramatic and visually stunning, Thai dance is one of the must-see experiences for anyone that come to visit Thailand.

The ancient performing art has origins that can be dated back to 1431. It includes six distinct forms; the khon, a formal masked dance drama that was originally performed for the royal courts and plays out the traditional fable of the Ramakian; lakhon encompasses several types of dance dramas; likhe, a partly improvised folk play with elements of dance, comedy, music and melodrama; manohra, the southern Thai version of likhe; nang or shadow plays, and hun luang or puppet theatre.

Khon Masked Drama

Each performance of khon includes a large cast of characters, namely humans, demons and monkeys.

The elaborate nature of the performances, enormous cast and intricate costumes means that a full show is an expensive undertaking and at one point the art nearly died out.

In recent years, however, thanks to the National Theatre, khon has experienced a revival of interest. The scenes performed in a khon originate from the Ramayana, the epic Indian poem of courage, magic and humour. Over time, the Buddhist Thais have adapted the story to their own distinctive culture.

Thai Manohra

Thai manohra is a southern Thailand form of likhe. It is thought to be the oldest style of Thai dance drama and has a similar storyline to the Ramayana in which Prince Suthon sets off to rescue the kidnapped Manohra, a khinnari or woman-bird princess.

Visakha Bucha Day in Thailand

Visakha Bucha Day

Visakha Bucha or Vesak Day is one of the most important Buddhist festivals on the Thai calendar. It celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. According to Theravada Buddhism, these three events all took place on the same day, the full moon day of the sixth lunar month of Visaka.

On Visakha Bucha Day, devout Buddhists visit the temples to meditate and listen to sermons, and bring flowers and offerings.

In the evenings there are beautiful candlelit processions, and worshippers walk around the main shrine of a temple three times to celebrate the three jewels of Buddhism; Buddha, his teachings or the Dhamma, and the monkhood or Sangha.

In Bangkok, Wat Saket, the Golden Mount temple, is a popular place to celebrate Visakha Bucha Day.

Sofitel Candle Ritual: French Elegance and Thai Culture

Bangkok city hotel

As the sun sinks slowly behind the Bangkok skyline, guests can begin a relaxed evening in the City of Angels at the Sofitel candle ritual.

The enchanting daily ritual continues a French tradition that dates back to the 17th century and the reign of Louis XIV. Every evening in the Paris streets, flickering candles would be lit to reveal the mysteries of the night and the fashionable metropolis became known as Ville de Lumière – the City of Lights. Continue reading Sofitel Candle Ritual: French Elegance and Thai Culture