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Thailand is internationally renowned for its beautiful beaches, the exotic and refreshing flavors of its cuisine, the friendliness of its people and its cultural richness. Full of unique events, the history of ancient Thailand demonstrates the diversity of a country that is known as the "land of a thousand smiles" and continues to be one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.
Certain Thai symbols are considered to represent the main characterstics of the country: the strength of the nation and the monarchy, the spirituality of the people, the wealth of native plants and animals and the traditional architecture of the region. So let’s take a look at the main national symbols of Thailand:
First up, the national flag. The flag of Thailand consists of five horizontal lines in three colors: red symbolizes the nation by representing the blood of the ancestors who fought for the country. The white color symbolizes spiritual purity and, in the center, the blue color is a symbol of the importance of the monarchy.
A mythological figure in Hinduism, half-man and half-bird, the Garuda adorns many Thai temples and is used as the national stamp of the country in official seals and royal documents. The creature is described as the king of birds, able to fly at speed and keep a watchful eye on all that surrounds it.It can be seen depicted in many temples, on coins and on banknotes.
Elephants are so important to the Thai culture and history that they have also received the status of national symbol. Because they are found in the forests of the region, they have historically been used as a means of transportation for royalty and even as war vehicles. White elephants are even considered sacred and, according to thai beliefs, the appearance of a white elephant is a sure sign of prosperity. These majestic animals are featured on our Thai Elephant Pants.
Also known as "Imperial cassia", the Rachaphruek, or "golden rain", is considered the official tree of the kingdom and represents the richness of Thai flora. Its lush flowers cover almost all branches and as it breaks off, the surrounding environment becomes covered in golden yellow, a color that symbolizes both King and religion. The Imperial Cassia even has herbal properties and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for detoxification, and to treat arthritis and nerve problems.
A symbol of the dexterous ability of local artisans, Sala Thais are wooden pavilions frequently found in public areas throughout the country. With a characteristic shape, and distinctive roof design, these Thai structures are created for various purposes, including for religious activities in temple gardens and as a place of leisure or sometimes simply as shelter from the sun and rain.