SILPAKORN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES, AND ARTS, Vol 11, No 2 (2011)

Thai and Indian Cultural Linkage: The Religious Festivities

Ruchi Agarwal




Abstract


There is a long history of cultural linkage between India and the Southeast Asian region. The Indian influence can be found in cultural and religious practices, arts, scriptures, and language. One of the common cultural heritages shared is the celebration of the major religious festivals. The festivals have originated in India and are widely celebrated in the Southeast Asian countries. In this paper, I am interested
in examining the Indian cultural influence with an emphasis on four major annual festivals celebrated in Thailand. The major Thai festivals include Songkran, Loy Krathong, Thai-Chinese Vegetarian festival, and the Long boat race. These festivals share a common cultural heritage with Holi, Karthik Purnima & Deepavali, Navratre, and Onam. My research revisits the Thai-Indian Cultural linkage through these religious festivals that are celebrated at the same time of the year but under different names.

Key Words: Hindu; Festivals; Religion; Thailand; Songkran; Holi; Deepavali; Loy Krathong; Navratre; Onam

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