Teacher’s day (วันครู Wan Kruu) is celebrated every year on January 16th in Thailand, it is also a school holiday. It is the day that teachers gather together to remember their first teachers.
Thai people believe that any field of work will have a teacher such as actors, dramatist, magician, astrologist and even boxers. Therefore, we need to have a Wai Kru ceremony to worship or respect the teacher.
The highlights of the day include religious activities, a ceremony of paying respect to teachers and activities to strengthen unity among teachers.
There is also วันไหว้ครู /Wan Wai Kru/ or Teachers’ Appreciation Day which is held shortly after the beginning of the term, on the first Thursday of June, as Thursday is traditionally the day of wisdom and teachers.
I still remember when I was a student, my classmate and I helped each other to arrange a flower tray for “Wai Kruu ceremony” (พีธีไหว้ครู) ; the children crawled up to the teachers on their knees, heads down, and presented them with flower tray with candles and incense (พานไหว้ครู).
The Students also recite the wai kru chant (บทไหว้ครู) , which expresses respect for, and gratitude to the teachers, and asks for the teachers’ blessing of their studies.
The flower trays given to the teachers have three specific flowers in them:
1. ดอกเข็ม (ixora) symbolizing wit (ความฉลาดหลักแหลม).
2. ดอกมะเขือ (eggplant flowers) symbolizing respect (ความเคารพ ความอ่อนน้อมถ่อมตน)
3. หญ้าแพรก [yâa prâek] (Burmuda Grass ; Wire Grass ; Dub Grass) symbolizing respect perseverance (ความอดทน)
Learn Thai with Mod Key learning point
ครู /kruu/ teacher
ไหว้ /wâi/ the Thai greeting to show of respect. It is graceful action practiced throughout Thailand