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Outfits and Etiquette in a temple

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.

HOW TO DRESS
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.

ETIQUETTE IN TEMPLE
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.

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  • 2009 series of Thai coins

    In 2009 (๒๕๕๒), the new series of Thai coins is released in circulation. The changes of the series are materials for reducing production cost and the update of the image on the obverse to the King Bhumipol Adulyadej recent age image. Two-baht coin was the first of the new series released because of the confusion of the similarity in color and size to the one-baht coin.

    Value Released Year Mass Composition
    25 sataang 1987 – 2007 1.9 g Aluminum bronze
    2009 Copper-plated steel
    50 sataang 1987 – 2007 2.4 g Aluminum bronze
    2009 Copper-plated steel
    1 baht 1986 – 2007 3.4 g Cupronickel
    2009 3 g Nickel-plated steel
    2 baht 2006 – 2008 4.4 g Nickel-plated low-carbon steel
    2009 4 g Aluminum bronze
    5 baht 1988 – 2007 7.5 g Cupronickel clad copper
    2009 6 g
    10 baht 1988 – 2007 8.5 g Ring: Cupronickel
    2009 Center: Aluminum bronze

    5 baht coin
    Five-Baht Coin
    2008(๒๕๕๑) Series (Left) | 2009(๒๕๕๒) Series (Right)

    Although, the Royal Thai Mint can solve the problem of the two-baht coin, there is an issue with the weight of new coins. Some new coin series are lighter than the old series. Apparently, the old series of five-baht coin are weighted 7.5 grams but the new series are only 6 grams. People can feel the weight and the thinness of the coin. Using the new five-baht coin with coin operated machine might cause problem. Many coin operated machines such as washing machines, BTS machines, or public telephones do not accept the coin; therefore, the Royal Thai Mint has to work fast with the related companies for making the machines work well with the old and new coin series.

    5 baht coins
    Five-Baht Coin
    2008 Series: 2 mm (Left) | 2009 Series: 1.5 mm (Right)
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