2012-08-11 10.33.57
Some of you have written back asking what life is like in Thailand. One part of daily life is the Thai holidays and other celebrations and ceremonies. I will try to describe those, so you can have an idea what it is like here.
The first Thai holiday we saw was the Queen of Thailand's birthday. It is celebrated a lot like Mother's Day, with giving flowers, cards, and other gestures of appreciation to one's mother. So, they have these flower arrangements, but really, I have seen nothing like it in the US. The closest comparison for the flower arrangements intricate details is the Rose Bowl Parade, but on a smaller scale and more ornate.
The King of Thailand's birthday is coming up in December, and we have heard it is a lot like Father's Day. I'm looking forward to seeing what it is like.
A few weeks ago, we went on a field trip with our Thai language teacher, to Chiang Mai to visit the famous Warorot Market. That day we saw a lot of Thai people burning incense and offering food at the spirit house shrines they have on their properties. Our teacher, Khruu Oiy, said it was the last day of a three-month-long Buddhist holiday.
The most recent holiday was Loi Krathong, which was just a few days ago. The words Loi Krathong mean “to float”, so the day is characterized by floating flower arrangements that are shaped like a lotus flower on the water. The flowers are thought to thank the water goddess. We didn't see much of that, since we don't live near the water.
But, we did see festivities from the northern holiday called Yi Peng. Our neighbors set off fireworks, and they also floated paper lanterns into the sky from the Wat (temple) in our village. We could see the lanterns floating up into the sky from our house. They believe that sending up the paper lanterns builds merit. The flowers, lanterns, and fireworks are beautiful, but it makes me a bit sad, since I heard they are trying to gain merit. In contrast, the Bible promises forgiveness and peace is a free gift to all who will come to Jesus in faith.
One final thought that comes to mind, seeing the beauty in the Thai festivals. I love the high value that the Thai's place upon beauty. It reminds me of the Bible verse that says, "He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also he hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end." (Ecclesiastes 3:11 ASV)
The desire for beauty is just a small glimpse of what eternity holds for us. I pray that many people from this area of the world will be able to gain that glory that God has prepared for all of His children in eternity.

Written on November 30th, 2012 , Mission Field

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