The official religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism which is the root of what is Thai culture, professed by about 95% of the population and introduced into the country in 329 BC Buddhism exerts a strong influence in the daily life of the Thai people and the monks are highly respected figures. In Thailand, however, there is a great religious tolerance that is a positive prerogative and the basis of Thai culture. This allows the peaceful coexistence of other faiths such as Islam (4%), Christianity (1%) and Hinduism.

Every man expects to become a monk for a short period of his life, earning the family honor and merit. Usually the time spent in the monastery is 3 months, and this period tends to begin in July, when the rainy season begins, and to last until the end of September. It can also begin in conjunction with the death of a relative. This period of withdrawal from the world to concentrate on contemplation is called phansaa.

More than the philosophical aspects of Buddhism, practical ones are evident. The monks are called to be part of the everyday life of the population. They recite blessings for weddings as well as for starting economic activities. They study the right position for the construction of houses and cemeteries. The identification of a suitable burial place for the dead is especially important. If this place is suitable, the deceased will be able to continue to "live" his passing, leaving behind the bonds that unite him to the ground.


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