Next week, on July 26th and 27th are the important Buddhist festivals; Asalha Puja (วันอาสาฬหบูชา) and Khao Phansa Day (วันเข้าพรรษา), the first day of Rains Retreat. Asalha Puja is a Theravada Buddhist festival which typically takes place in July, on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. Rains Retreat is the traditional retreat during the rainy season lasting for three lunar months from July to October. In Thailand, there is a campaign to stop drinking alcohol in this period; therefore, the first day of Rains Retreat is also called as a National Alcohol-Free day.

Tourists in Thailand might have a chance to go see the festival or visit a temple. They therefore have to know things which is not allowed or supposed to do in the temple and monastery, especially in the sanctuary.

If people go to a temple fair for example, it is nothing much to worry about the outfits because typically they will go enjoy things, foods, or rides in the fair but not participate in any ceremonies, talk to monks or go inside the sanctuary.

Tourists' outfist for entering Emerald Buddha Temple
Tourists’ outfist for entering Emerald Buddha Temple

However, if they go to any ceremonies particularly formal ceremonies with or without monks, talk to monks, or go inside the sanctuary or monastery, they should avoid wearing see-through shirts, pants or skirts, tight dress, mini skirt and short pants above knees especially for women. At some strict temples such as the Emerald Buddha temple in Bangkok and Soothooanwooarawihaan Temple in Chachuuengsao, they have more conditions about prohibited outfits. You will be asked to change clothes or wear something like a robe over your outfits before entering the place. Nevertheless, slippers are fine because you will be required to take them off when entering a sanctuary.

In Thailand, there are levels of politeness. Feet are considered as lower than a head; therefore, it is unacceptable to point feet to a person or anything particularly in a temple or pointing to a Buddha image. To post for taking pictures in a sanctuary, Thai people prefer to sit on the floor in a polite posture.

Regular posture of Thai people in a sanctury
Regular posture of Thai people in a sanctuary

Consequently, the unusual postures such as climbing to the Buddha image, funny postures, or impolite postures by showing women breast are not allowed. Since a temple is considered as a quite and sacred place, some manners such as making noise, cursing somebody, and having sex are not proper to do in a temple.