As we’ve mentioned a few times, Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country, so Christmas isn’t celebrated in quite the same way as it is in Western countries. However, one of the cornerstones of Buddhism is respect and tolerance for other religions, so it is not unusual to see Thai people and businesses decked out in red and green, ready to join in with the festive season. As you’ve probably realised by now, Thais are a joyful people and we love any excuse to celebrate and have fun.
Christmas celebrations and events are more widespread in Thai cities than the countryside, and at this time of year it is quite common to see city streets and shopping malls decked out in trees, lights, and decorations, just as you would in the UK. Christmas Day is not a holiday in Thailand, though – the children still have to go to school, and the adults to work. But there is definitely a festive feel in the air; the children might receive a small gift in the morning and do some fun activities at school, and in the evening there might be a special meal, though it’s more likely to be curry and rice than turkey with all the trimmings!
One thing to be careful of though: in the West, if you are not sure what to buy for someone, very often you might buy them some fun socks, maybe with a sparkly Father Christmas on them or their favourite cartoon character. But in Thai culture, the foot is considered to be unclean and a gift of socks, however well meant, might give offence.
Something I’m sure we can all agree on, though, is that Christmas is a time for coming together with friends and family to celebrate the joy they bring to us. If you are thinking of planning a festive meal out with work, a group of friends, or your nearest and dearest, remember that Thai Terre can cater for small and large groups, or if you don’t feel like braving the cold weather we also offer home delivery.
Happy Christmas from Thai Terre!