Quiz about Celebrating Thailand
Quiz about Celebrating Thailand

Celebrating Thailand Trivia Quiz


Thailand has a number of culturally significant holidays and festivals filling their calendar. Let's join in the celebrations and learn something of the reasons for them!

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
334,933
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
3772
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 183 (6/10), Guest 110 (8/10), Guest 45 (4/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. As is the case in many Asian countries, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Thailand. But the Thai people celebrate it at a different time from most countries, on a date shortly after the vernal (spring) equinox. What are the traditional dates of the Songkran Festival in Thailand? Hint

July 1 to 3
January 9 to 11
October 5 to 7
April 13 to 16

2. During the second half of the twentieth century, May 3 marked the start of a three-day celebration for the Thai people. The first day included a Buddhist ceremony; the second day's ceremony had a Brahmanic part and a Buddhist one; on the third day the king threw a feast for the Buddhist monks, among other activities. What holiday was being celebrated on May 5 in Thailand? Hint

May Day
Fathers Day
Mothers Day
Coronation Day

3. The majority of the Thai populace are farmers, and agricultural festivals play an important part in their lives. Which ceremony, in which sacred bulls play a significant role, can you observe during May if you visit Sanam Luang, the open field in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok? Hint

Gathering of Grains
Ploughing Ceremony
Blessing of the Fields
Harvest Home

4. 'Boon Luang' is a three-day festival celebrated annually during the summertime in the northeastern Thai town of Dan Sai. It starts off with 'Phi Ta Khon', a parade of celebrants dressed as ghosts and monsters, wearing colourful masks. What is the English translation of 'Phi Ta Khon'? Hint

Summer Dance
Masquerade
Carnival
Ghost Festival

5. The festival of Kathina is celebrated at the end of Vassa, or the Rains Retreat, which is a three-month period, usually lasting from July to October, in which monks of Thailand's predominant religion stay inside their monasteries and engage in prolonged meditation. What is the religion which these 'bhikkus' practice? Hint

Judaism
Islam
Theravada Buddhism
Roman Catholicism

6. In August, the small town of Chonburi is the site for a uniquely Thai event that developed from a social gathering of local farmers who decided to hold a competition when they gathered for trade. What animals raced around the fields of Chonburi for the 139th time in 2010? Hint

Ostriches
Llamas
Water buffaloes
Kangaroos

7. The people of Thailand freely celebrate Chulalongkorn Day on October 23, the anniversary of the death of King Chulalongkorn, also known as Rama V. For which of these liberating actions is he best remembered? Hint

Building the Great Wall of Thailand
Amazing fireworks displays
Construction of irrigation systems
Abolition of slavery

8. 'Loy Krathong', celebrated on the night of the full moon in November, can be translated as 'floating leaf-cup'. Traditionally a cup is shaped from banana wood decorated with banana leaves, and has items placed in it before being sent on its journey down the river. Which of these is *NOT* one of the items traditionally placed in a krathong? Hint

Incense sticks
Candles
Llamas
Flowers

9. Every year, the Thai people celebrate the birthday of their reigning monarch. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and the first decade of the twenty-first, this was His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, whose birthday was 5 December. This creative monarch was the first member of Thai royalty to do which of the following? Hint

Patent an invention
Fly an airplane
Drive a car
Visit the United States

10. Having never been part of a European colonial empire, Thailand does not have an Independence Day. However, on December 10 they do celebrate 'Constitution Day', in recognition of the transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with a legislature called the People's Assembly. In what year did this occur? Hint

1448
1997
1932
1782


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. As is the case in many Asian countries, the Lunar New Year is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Thailand. But the Thai people celebrate it at a different time from most countries, on a date shortly after the vernal (spring) equinox. What are the traditional dates of the Songkran Festival in Thailand?

Answer: April 13 to 16

The Songkran Festival is the Lunar New Year celebration, which officially recognizes the vernal equinox, but the date for Songkran has been fixed as April 13, rather than the current date for the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, which occurs in late March. Until 1940, Songkran was New Year's Day; in that year January 1 was declared the start of the new year, but Songkran remains a national holiday.

If you can be there for this festival, you will need to be prepared for the water-throwing which is a feature of the celebrations. You will see people roaming the streets with buckets of water, water pistols, garden hoses, anything available to drench those they encounter. This tradition probably originated in using the water that had been used to cleanse the public images of Buddha to share the blessedness of the water with others and endow good fortune for the coming year. During the three days of celebrations there are dragon dancers parading through the streets, and plenty of firecrackers.

On a more serious note, Songkran is a time for making a new start (traditionally houses are cleaned meticulously on April 12, and refuse burned), for prayers in remembrance of family members who have died, and for activities designed to ensure good luck in the coming year. One such activity is the tradition in many towns of building sand pagodas in the courtyard of the local wat (temple), in which families build conical shapes out of damp sand. A coin and a fig leaf are buried in the depths of the pagoda, which is sprinkled with scented water and decorated with flags and other ornaments. A piece of yellow or red cloth is arranged at the base, then lighted candles, incense sticks and flowers are stuck in the sand all around the base while appropriate prayers are recited.
2. During the second half of the twentieth century, May 3 marked the start of a three-day celebration for the Thai people. The first day included a Buddhist ceremony; the second day's ceremony had a Brahmanic part and a Buddhist one; on the third day the king threw a feast for the Buddhist monks, among other activities. What holiday was being celebrated on May 5 in Thailand?

Answer: Coronation Day

The anniversary of the monarch's coronation has been a Thai feast since the middle of the 19th century. The date, of course, varies. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was invested as the ninth member of the Chakri dynasty on 5 May 1950, so May 5 was celebrated as Coronation Day for the duration of his reign, which extended into the twenty-first century.

As of the start of the twenty-first century, the first day of preparation involved a Buddhist ceremony in honor of the Chakri ancestral line, held in the Amarindra Vinichai Hall on the Grand Palace. This magnificent room, whose name means 'Divine Decision', was the site of the original coronation, and was also the venue from which the king announced the honors to be conferred to various people for their services to the country on Coronation Day, after the great feast.
3. The majority of the Thai populace are farmers, and agricultural festivals play an important part in their lives. Which ceremony, in which sacred bulls play a significant role, can you observe during May if you visit Sanam Luang, the open field in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok?

Answer: Ploughing Ceremony

The Ploughing Ceremony has been conducted in the springtime since the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351-1757) as a religious ceremony to ensure good crops, and marks the beginning of the rice growing season. It involves a colorful and complex series of rituals, culminating in a ceremonial ploughing and the presentation of platters containing various ingredients to the sacred bulls. Their choice of bowl from which to eat is considered to offer a prediction as to what the year is to bring: which crops will fare best, what animal food sources will be plentiful, whether trade with other countries will be prosperous, etc. The exact date of the Ploughing Ceremony is determined by the traditional astrological system known as Hora.

The rice used in the ceremony is grown on the grounds of the king's Bangkok residence, Chitralada Palace. After the ceremony, onlookers dig up the rice that has been ploughed to either keep as a token of good luck or mix with their own grain before sowing, to help ensure a good crop.
4. 'Boon Luang' is a three-day festival celebrated annually during the summertime in the northeastern Thai town of Dan Sai. It starts off with 'Phi Ta Khon', a parade of celebrants dressed as ghosts and monsters, wearing colourful masks. What is the English translation of 'Phi Ta Khon'?

Answer: Ghost Festival

The date of this festival is selected by the town's mediums, and can be anytime between May and July. The first day features the parade of participants wearing giant masks carved from the trunks of coconut trees, with a wicker basket shaped like a large rice steamer on the top, all painted in bright colours with striking patterns. Of course, there is lots of singing, dancing and music. The origins of this procession are unclear, but are commonly attributed to a story of a time when Buddha went on a long journey and was thought dead, then returned and was greeted with wild celebrations.

The second day of 'Boon Luang' is a rocket festival, with bamboo rockets being set off in front of the local wat (temple) to induce plentiful rains (the celebration being held near the start of the rainy season). There are also prizes awarded for best mask, best costume, and best dancer in each of several age groups.

Day three is a more serious day of prayer, including a reading of thirteen of Buddha's sermons.
5. The festival of Kathina is celebrated at the end of Vassa, or the Rains Retreat, which is a three-month period, usually lasting from July to October, in which monks of Thailand's predominant religion stay inside their monasteries and engage in prolonged meditation. What is the religion which these 'bhikkus' practice?

Answer: Theravada Buddhism

Theravada Buddhism is Thailand's national religion, and about 95% of the Thai people profess it as their faith. 'Theravada' means 'Ancient Teaching', and this school of Buddhism is very conservative, considered to be the closest of all schools of Buddhism to the original teachings of the Buddha. Islam is the second largest religion, comprising almost all of the balance. Christians make up less than 0.5% of the population, and the Jewish community is even smaller.

It is believed that the origin of this extended retreat lies in the very beginnings of the religion - to keep monks from traveling during the rainy season and inadvertently harming crops or small animals as they traveled, they were required to spend that season indoors in spiritual meditation. Some lay people choose to use this time to practice their own spiritual or fleshly disciplines, such as giving up meat or alcohol, and attending extended prayer services.

The end of Vassa is marked by Kathina, a day when lay people bring donations (especially new robes, called kathin) to the temples to welcome the monks back into the outside world.
6. In August, the small town of Chonburi is the site for a uniquely Thai event that developed from a social gathering of local farmers who decided to hold a competition when they gathered for trade. What animals raced around the fields of Chonburi for the 139th time in 2010?

Answer: Water buffaloes

Originally the races were held using farm animals, but now they are bred specially for racing. This does not necessarily make them cooperative, and a part of the fun of the races is watching the riders try to stay on and get their mounts to move in the right direction. Racing buffaloes are much smaller than farming buffaloes, who are still exhibited in the Buffalo Pageant, which includes awards for the best male and female buffaloes, as well as prizes for successful trainers, breeders and jockeys.

The festival has something to offer those who are not so keen on buffaloes: lots of food and souvenir stalls, local sports teams competing against each other, oil post climbing, Thai boxing, quizzes, games, concerts and more are located in the field adjacent to the one used for the races.
7. The people of Thailand freely celebrate Chulalongkorn Day on October 23, the anniversary of the death of King Chulalongkorn, also known as Rama V. For which of these liberating actions is he best remembered?

Answer: Abolition of slavery

Chulalongkorn Day, also called Piyamaharaj Day, celebrates the life of a king who made significant contributions to the development of Thailand into a modern state. Born in 1853, he ascended the throne as Rama V in 1868, at the age of 15, beginning a reign of 42 years.

As one of the first monarchs to travel widely, he returned from his travels with many innovative ideas. In 1905 he abolished slavery and the slave trade in Thailand. He also made vast improvements in the country's railways, and established postal and telegraph services along with reforming the health and education systems.

His good relationships with foreign powers helped him keep Thailand from coming under colonial rule, the only country of southeast Asia to do so. His father, Mongkut, was the king featured in "Anna and the King of Siam".
8. 'Loy Krathong', celebrated on the night of the full moon in November, can be translated as 'floating leaf-cup'. Traditionally a cup is shaped from banana wood decorated with banana leaves, and has items placed in it before being sent on its journey down the river. Which of these is *NOT* one of the items traditionally placed in a krathong?

Answer: Llamas

With the rainy season over, and the rice growing but not yet ready to harvest, November (or, technically, the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar) provides a breathing space in which there is time to prepare for this celebration which combines Brahmin rituals with traditional Thai animism. The krathong can be made or purchased; commercially-produced versions may be made from bread or ecologically-unsound Styrofoam instead of the traditional wood, and will come complete with a candle to light in the centre, incense sticks to place around it, and flowers to strew around. Many people also add a coin before launching their krathong. The ceremony was originally intended both as a means of ridding the water of any evil luck, and as an act of worship of the goddess of the water, Phra Mae Khongkha. Or Buddha, depending on how you choose to interpret it.

As well as the private krathong launchings, many companies organize large rafts, and towns often have beauty competitions and (of course) fireworks.

In northern Thailand, Loy Krathong coincides with the celebration of Yi Peng, a festival marked by the launching of sky lanterns (paper lanterns with a burning candle that heats the air inside the lantern, causing it to float through the air) and the hanging of stationary lanterns on public buildings. Chiang Mai is the place to be if you want to be surrounded by floating, hanging and flying candles!
9. Every year, the Thai people celebrate the birthday of their reigning monarch. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and the first decade of the twenty-first, this was His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, whose birthday was 5 December. This creative monarch was the first member of Thai royalty to do which of the following?

Answer: Patent an invention

The king, whose name can be translated as 'Strength of the land, incomparable power', designed a water aerator, which is described in the patent as 'an apparatus for water treatment', and which is widely used in the treatment of polluted waterways. Other patents have been awarded for several rainmaking techniques. He is also an accomplished musician, playing alto saxophone, and sailor.

King Rama IX (the title showing that he is the ninth member of the Chakri dynasty) acceded to the throne on 9 June 1946 (and waited nearly four years for his coronation). This makes him the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Thailand, and the longest-serving current head of state at the time of his death on 13 October 2016. Since his death, his son Maha Vajiralongkorn, whose birthday is on 28 July, became King Rama X. Bhumibol Adulyadej will remain, however, the first member of the royal family to patent an invention.
10. Having never been part of a European colonial empire, Thailand does not have an Independence Day. However, on December 10 they do celebrate 'Constitution Day', in recognition of the transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with a legislature called the People's Assembly. In what year did this occur?

Answer: 1932

The King of Thailand is still officially styled as 'Head of State, Head of the Armed Forces, Upholder of the Buddhist Religion and Defender of all Faiths'. But since the bloodless revolution of June 24, 1932 he has no longer been an absolute monarch. Then-king Rama VII agreed to the establishment of an appointed legislature, but this was changed to a legislature composed of 78 appointed (by the People's Party who had led the revolution) and 78 directly-elected members before the signing of the new constitution on December 10, 1932.

Thai constitutions have been numerous - 16 different constitutions or charters were enacted during the 20th century. This is a reflection of Thailand's political instability, as many of these were temporary arrangements following military coups.

The celebration of Constitution Day involves lots of flags, bunting, parades (military and civilian), and (you guessed it) candles and fireworks. Nowadays electric lights are added to the mix, providing even more illumination than was traditionally available.
Source: Author looney_tunes

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