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Thu 27 Apr 2017
Christmas in Thailand
Written by Gor   
Tuesday, 24 December 2002 00:00

Christmas is here at last. It has been coming for a long time this year. Every year it seems to start earlier and earlier. For a month now they have been playing Christmas songs. I am starting to get bored with them. There are quite a lot of songs that we sing on Christmas Day, but there are only two songs that they play very often: Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is coming to town. I think I am now getting Jingle Crazy after hearing them so often!

This time of year every department store and shopping mall will be celebrating Christmas all day by playing Christmas songs and having people dress up as Santa Claus. Also when you go out, if you look around you will see Christmas trees and other decorations everywhere you go. You can see Christmas trees alongside the road or even outside the toilet!

Some foreigners might think that Thailand is a Christian country when they see all the Christmas decorations, but really we are not. Ninety-five percent of Thai people are Buddhist and Buddhism is our country’s religion. But in Thailand, there is a small percent of people who are Christian and Muslim. Even though most of us are Buddhist we celebrate Christmas day because Thai people like to have fun and we are open and friendly towards other religions.

I remember the time when I was at Sriwittayapaknam primary school. I really enjoyed Christmas then. The school made this day a fantastic one for me. I never missed school on this day because there were lots of special fun activities. The school celebrated until the end of the day! Here’s why I liked it.

On Christmas Eve the school set up a big Christmas tree with lots of presents around it in the middle of the playground. Plus they selected two boys and some girls, to dress up as Santa Clauses and little angels.

When Christmas day came, those students had to come to school very early in the morning to get dressed up. Then they would go to stand at the front of the school gate. There they gave away candies to the students as they arrive at school to say "Happy Christmas". Also, Christmas songs were playing loudly all over the school through the speakers.

At 8 o’clock, every student would come to line up in the playground for assembly. During assembly, they also sang some Christmas carols with a smile on everyone’s face. After the songs finished, a group of students put on a short play about the birth of Jesus. Two students would dress up as Mary and Joseph, and others would play the parts of the three wise men and the shepherds.

Now let’s talk about the older students. For Matthayom, secondary school, students, Christmas is not really that much fun anymore. During the week of Christmas, the Matthayom students have to study very hard because they have to get ready for their mid-term exams. While the primary students and children all around the world are having fun celebrating on Christmas day, the secondary students in Thailand are sitting exams. I remember that is what it was like last year. On Christmas morning I had an exam!

Anyway, is it right we celebrate Christmas when we are not Christian? I think it should be fine because we are not doing anything bad to their religion. We celebrate Christmas respectfully as Christian countries do. Buddhism teaches us to open our hearts widely for people from other religions. So, we don’t really mind if it is our religion or not. What about you? Do you think that it’s right or not?