17 grudzień Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Thailand
Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Thailand
Being ten hours away at Christmas is not the easiest thing to bear. The really hot weather helps a lot, but it is not the same as spending it with your love ones. Additionally, you are well aware that you will not enjoy your mum’s dumplings this year and even the sun is not going to make you feel any better.
So what is my perfect recipe to spend Christmas for away from home?
Keep calm and buy your Christmas gifts at a local bazar
Christmas is a Christian tradition and does not belong to Thai culture. But Thai people love to offer presents to each other, and Christmas in Thailand has also become a commercial event. Christmas trees can be found in Bangkok’s shopping centers, rather than in people’s living rooms! I took advantage of the time I had to wait for my boat to the Island Koh Tao and went looking for some gifts at a local bazaar. Surprisingly, I also found a gallery with absolutely fabulous recycled material statues from our favourite movies: ‘Alien’ and ‘Star Wars’.
Meditate in the local temple
Picture of a Buddha statue in Koh Samui
Get the cotton thread bracelet and blessing from the local Buddhist monk. These bracelets are called in Thailand ‘Sai Sin’. Usually, they come from a much longer string that has been blessed by monks in a Buddhist ritual. The ‘Sai Sin’ is supposed to provide protection and good health to the person wearing it. Usually, it is white and means purity but can vary depending on the region. Never refuse when a ‘Sai Sin’ is offered. It is an act of hospitality and should be accepted with grace.
Release some wishes into the sky
Although the Thai Festival, Loi Krathong takes place in November (first full moon of the month), lanterns are being released also at Christmas Eve. When you release your lanterns into the sky, you are supposed to wish all your problems and bad luck to go away with it as it is a symbol of new beginnings. It looks amazing and magical to see all these lanterns floating in the dark sky full of stars.
Mingle with local people
This is the best way to learn more about the local culture and tradition.
Thai attitude results from the Buddhism. They always choose: happiness, respect, consideration for others and laugh. They greet you with a blessing. They believe that your actions have consequences, so they choose actions that bring happy, positive results for everybody. They are fun! I learned that when I spent my New Year’s Eve on one of the Bangkok’s skyscrapers. What I liked about that night is that I was far away from crowds and this place gave me the opportunity to know better local people.
Wherever you choose to spend your Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I wish you happy and filled with love holidays everybody!
View from the the hotel on the charming little island Koh Tao
bear – to hold up (znosić)
be aware – having knowledge (zdawać sobie sprawę)
dumplings – a rounded mass of steamed and seasoned dough, often served in soup or with stewed meat (pierogi)
recipe – a method to attain a desired end (przepis)
cotton – a soft, white, downy substance consisting of the hairs or fibers attached to the seeds of plants belonging to the genus Gossypium, of the mallow family, used in making fabrics, thread, wadding, etc (bawełna)
thread – a fine cord of flax, cotton, or other fibrous material spun out to considerable length, especially when composed of two or more filaments twisted together (nitka)
bracelet – an ornamental band or circlet for the wrist or arm or, sometimes, for the ankle (branzoletka)
Buddhist – a religion, originated in India by Buddha (Gautama) and later spreading to China, Burma, Japan, Tibet, and parts of southeast Asia, holding that life is full of suffering caused by desire and that the way to end this suffering is through enlightenment that enables one to halt the endless sequence of births and deaths to which one is otherwise subject (buddyjski)
monk – a man who is a member of a monastic order (mnich)
purity – the condition or quality of being pure (czystość)
lantern – a transparent or translucent, usually portable, case for enclosing a light and protecting it from the wind, rain, etc (latarnia, tu: lampion)
mingle with– take part with others; participate (mieszać się z)