Temples in Thailand
Thai Buddhism is represented most obviously by the thousands of beautiful, ornately decorated and colorful temples in the country. There is no better place to see this than in Bangkok itself, which is home to over 500 temples.
The temple in Thailand is the place where monks live and where normal people frequently go to make merit. Thais will visit the temple with offerings of food, incense, candles, lotus flowers or even money.
In return, they will receive ‘merit’ and the blessings of good fortune and prosperity from a monk.
When they go to pray, Thai people will take with them three sticks of incense, one for the Buddha, one for the Sangha (the Buddhist community) and one for the Dharma (the teachings of Buddha). They will also take a lotus flower and a candle.
First the incense sticks are lit, then the person kneels in front of the temple, bowing three times before placing the incense in front of the Buddha statue.
After praying, during which the person will make a wish, they will then place a thin piece of gold paper onto the Buddha statue, as a mark of honor to Buddha’s teachings.
If the person is in pain and is praying for relief, they need to stick the gold paper on the same part of the Buddha statue where they have pain.
Thais also visit temples to consult with monks about their personal problems, seeking advice or blessings of good luck. These people will then usually make a small offering of money to the temple.
Anything associated with Buddhism is afforded a deep level of respect by Thais, and this can be seen on many occasions in every day life. Thais will ‘wai’, placing their hands together in respect, at any Buddhist symbol, for example temples they are passing, monks, spirit houses or statues.
- An Introduction to Thai Buddhism (bangkokbeyond.com)
- Golden Buddha (bangkokbeyond.com)