Thailand is full of surprises. It is a fiercely proud country, that has its own beliefs and systems, and Thai people on the whole stick to them. Thai people are religious, around 95% of the population are practising Buddhists, and celebrate their own festivals and events on a huge scale. It really is great to be a part of. What we have quickly realised is that, despite Thailand’s proud status, they like to celebrate anything and everything.
When Jade and I came out here, we were very aware that we would be away from home for all the holidays that we celebrate in the UK. Hallowe’en passed us by quietly, Thai people are very afraid of ghosts and so the holiday is pretty much ignored by the mainstream population. They don’t celebrate Bonfire night, but, they have their own festival – Loi Krathong – that falls around the same time. I obviously didn’t expect them to give one about my birthday, but they don’t make a big deal about birthday’s here, which is a little strange to get used to. Celebrating my birthday in a different country was enough to be honest.
At home, I celebrate Thanksgiving with my Aunt and Uncle, as she is from Ohio, USA. It’s a great night, despite being British, and it’s my favourite meal of the year, so I was pretty gutted to know I would be missing out. Our American friends out here probably feel it more than I do, and certainly more than Jade does, and had heard through the grapevine that a bar/restaurant in town had two turkeys, and were doing a whole Thanksgiving meal. They picked us up and took us, and even though it wasn’t as good as home, it was a great night just spending with friends. It really made me glad we have made friends out here, and it’s not just the two of us. It is definitely adding to the experience.
The Big C is starting to put Christmas decorations up, and is starting to get Christmas packaged items on the shelves. I really love Christmas, and think it is likely to be the time where we miss home and people back at home the most. Now as things are in the shops, we have splashed out on a few things for the house, and we have received a couple of things from home that are making the place seem a little bit homely. Hopefully I will get stuff from home that will really make the whole day, even though I will be in work.
No joke, they celebrate pretty much everyone’s New Years over here. We have the week that features our New Year off, which will be nice, it’s like the half way point of our teaching experience. Then there is Chinese New Year, which of course they do something for. That should be good, we will be near the end of the teaching experience by that point. Unfortunately, we miss Thai New Year, which sounds like it would be a riot. Chris has told us he things that Loi Krathong is the best festival celebrated in Thailand, so I am pleased we at least got to celebrate that here.
This month, we have another set of Thai events to celebrate, in the form of two national holidays: one for the King’s birthday, which is Father’s day in Thailand on Dec 5th, and Constitution day, Dec 10th. The days off are most welcome, especially as one is a Friday, and then we have the Monday off to do a visa run, so we get a long weekend to ourselves. Huzzah.
I just didn’t expect today to go to the town and receive a Thanksgiving dinner, it has definitely made me excited for Christmas, hopefully somewhere will do a Christmas dinner, and hopefully it will be decent.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!