By THE NATION
This year is expected to welcome more than 800 international disciples of the art of muay thai from 60 countries.
“The World Wai Khru Muay Thai Ceremony 2018 provides continuity that ensures the art form is being properly preserved and curated for future generations as many consider wai khru to be the ‘heart and soul’ of muay thai,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
“Wai khru is much more than a ceremonial kick boxing ritual, performance art or just paying respect to one’s teacher. It is an important part of Thailand’s cultural and martial arts history with origins that can be traced back to ancient battlefields when Thai soldiers fought for independence, centuries before muay thai developed into a martial art for sport.”
This upcoming event has added significance, as it falls on the celebration of Nai Khanom Tom Day on March 17. He was an almost mythological muay thai folk hero and warrior who is also hailed as the Father of Muay Thai.
It features heaps of tasty Thai food, lots of quality handicraft shopping, muay thai boxing souvenirs and memorabilia plus free cultural and historical lessons for good measure. Some of the more interesting Thai local experiences include the ancient arts of yantra tattooing and yantra calligraphy, plus Aranyik sword making from Ayutthaya’s famed sword village.
Thai martial art performances are interactive with audience members encouraged to participate in energy testing through ancient muay thai boxing drills that include kicking a banana tree, punching limes and chopping water. Numerous Thai food stalls will be serving modern and retroperiod interpretations on traditional Thai cuisine.