Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
In Thailand, as in most of Asia, the lunar calendar contains twelve or thirteen months in a year, with 15 waxing moon and 14 or 15 waning moon days in a month, amounting to years of 354, 355 or 384 days. But in 1889 by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), replaced the lunar calendar in official contexts and days and months now correspond exactly to the Gregorian calendar.
In the cultural context, years are usually noted by the animal of the Chinese zodiac. This system predicts a person’s characteristics and fortunes based on the ‘year’ of birth rather than the ‘month’ of birth.
And as is often the case, this culturally significant meme is best represented through its classical art. Below are images of prints of some antique Thai Calendars, each representing a different zodiac sign.
The features of the characters & their costumes, the shading styles and the colors used in the paintings are all uniquely associated with the geography and its history.
The interesting calendar fact that is unique to Thailand is that for each day of the week there is a color that is considered auspicious! The specific color depends on an astrological rule influenced by Hindu Navagraha belief system and is based on the color of the deity that protects the day.
So today – Wednesday – is the day of the Buddha and the auspicious color is green!