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How Flowers are used in the Buddhist Religion Ceremonies in Thailand

Numerous religions are practiced around the world, some in well organized groups and others not. Among the listed organized religions of the world include Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Shintoism and Confucianism. In many of these religions, flowers are normally part of one ceremony or another.

Buddhism is the main religion in Thailand and flowers never fail to make an appearance in festivals andceremonies that often take place. The significance of the type of flowers, and for what ceremony, is as vast as the types of flowers themselves. However, many a florist in Thailand are always at hand to help people choose the correct flowers for the different ceremonies.

Flowers are mostly used as gifts and offerings in the Buddhist religion, but the most common of them all, the lotus flower, is used symbolically to represent various deities and states of enlightenment. The lotus flower is part of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism, and generally one of the most significant images in this faith.

Significance of the Lotus Flower in Buddhism

In Buddhism, the lotus flower symbolizes both the Buddha and the most exalted state of a human being with head held up high and feet steadily rooted in experience. At a place in Northern India called Bodh Gaya where the Buddha attained enlightenment, there is a structure of a raised platform known as the Jewel Promenade Shrine. The structure is at that place where it is believed that lotus flowers sprung up wherever the Buddha stepped as he paced about in meditation. The structure forms part of the Mahabodhi Temple complex.

Also, there was a dry pond about a mile away from the Mahabodhi Temple towards the south where the Buddha is said to have been for six weeks after attaining enlightenment. That’s now a big pond full of lotuses. All these are probably reasons why most Buddhist art has the lotus flower depicting the Buddha.

Colours of the Lotus Flower as Used in Buddhism

The lotus flower has a variety of colours which all have their specific meanings and purposes in Buddhistreligious ceremonies. Choosing the right type for a specific occasion or ceremony is very important and any experienced florist in Thailand can help you with that. Below are the different types and their purposes.

The Pink Lotus

Also known as the supreme lotus, this is reserved for the highest in Buddhism. It is associated with the Buddha himself and thus generally not that used in ceremonies.

The White Lotus

It represents mental purity and spiritual perfection. It’s the most common in ceremonies and is associated with White Tara proclaiming her perfectness as well as representing her body colour.

The Red Lotus

This symbolizes the original nature of the heart plus its purity. It stands for love, passion and compassion. It represents Avalokiteshvara and makes great gifts in both religious and nonreligious ceremonies.

The Blue Lotus

It symbolizes wisdom and the victory of spirit over senses. This is the lotus of Manjushri and is used in many different occasions

Syndicated from Storify – Flowers in Thailand