Tradition and Culture
In 1991, on the 100th anniversary of his birthday, Prince Mahidol of Songkhla was named by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of the great personalities of the world in the field of culture. In 1951, the Thai government officially designated September 24th as Mahidol Day—the memorial date of the Prince’s passing. Every year since, commemorative services are held September 24th around the nation. It is a particularly important day for the medical fraternity to devote itself; just as the Prince sacrificed himself for the well-being of the nation by developing medical education in Thailand.
Srinagarindra—mother of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)—continues to be a role model for society, because of her lifelong devotion to raising the quality of life among Thais, as individuals and as communities. Thais greatly mourned her passing; so there are many projects and activities that honour her life’s work and continue it in her name for the furtherance of a just and humane society. Srinagarind Day is held July 18th in memory of the passing of Princess Srinagariindra. Various activities are held including religion observances, academic fairs, and health services by the students and staff of the Faculty of Medicine, and Srinagarind Hospital.
Srinagarind Hospital is a general tertiary hospital for the training new medical practitioners. The Hospital has as yet no dedicated ward for treating Buddhist monks. The treatment of monks is like other people; that is, divided into specific kinds of diseases. With guidance from Phra Ajahn Thoon Khibpapanyo, supported by Phra Ajahn Thate Desaransi, there is a plan to increase the number of beds dedicated to monks, by moving the monk ward from its current temporary location in the Princess Mother 89th Birthday Building to the Srinagarindra Tower, 10th floor, which is more convenient and spacious. The new ward has 38 beds and four special rooms, with eight beds. The hospital will also provide male nurses for the care of the monks.
Other National Days
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is typically arranged on January 1st, and celebrated the night before at midnight with fireworks. Just as in the West, acquaintances, friends and families join together to count down to the New Year.
Songkran Festival is celebrated in Thailand as the tradition Thai New Year. Songkran HoliDays run between April 13th and 15th, which is usually the hottest time of the year of Thailand. During the festival, people throw water at each other at home and in the streets. Songkran is also an occasion to visit home and to pay the respect to elder family members by pouring jasmine water over their hand and asking for a blessing. Some will go to the temple to give food to the monks and pour fragrant water on the Buddha image to bring upon themselves good luck through the coming year of their life.
Mother’s Day is a celebration to honor mother’s devotion. It is time to express the respect, gratitude, and feeling to mother. In Thailand, Mother’s Day is held on August 12 every year, the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Queen of Thailand who considered as the mother of Thai people. As Mother’s Day was celebrated, in every institutions of Thailand: house, shop, school, university, organization will decorate their building to indicate the honor to mother and Queen Sirikit; mostly use Blue color and the portrait of Queen Sirikit in decoration.