A sweet smell fills the air as I walk through the canteen. Students busily gluing and arranging flowers with a gentle buzz of anticipation. Soon it will be Wai Kru Day so English Teacher Online invites you to enjoy this Wai Kru Day reading comprehension.
In the Thai language, “wai” means to bow and “kru” means teacher. So on a Thursday in June each year, Thai students celebrate Wai Kru day. They show their gratitude and respect by bowing to their teachers in this famous old Thai festival.
Flowers of Wai Kru Day
Four different flowers are used when making the ‘Paan Wai Kru’ a traditional tray with pedestal. Each flower has special symbolic meaning consistent with learning, knowledge and wisdom.
Ixora (called khem in Thai) are flowers which have pointed buds while closed, and is the symbol for sharp wit and common sense.
Bermuda grass (called ya phreak) is a resilient plant that grows quickly. It symbolizes perseverance and the ability to learn.
Popped rice (khao tok) is the foundation flower that covers most of the ‘Paan Wai Kru.’ It is the symbol for discipline.
Eggplant flowers are also used as their heavy fruit bow low to symbolize respect and humility.
Wai Kru Day Ceremony
For generations, Thai students have combined these flowers to make the most beautiful tributes in honour of their beloved teachers.
Class by class (starting with the eldest) the students walk onto the stage on their knees with their heads bowed down until they reach their teachers who are sitting on chairs. The students then bow to their teacher and offer them their flowery bouquets wrapped with incense and candles.
Each teacher receives the flowers and touches the student’s shoulder while offering advice or encouragement. After the ceremony, the teachers take their bouquets to decorate all the staffrooms, offices and classrooms in the school.
Everywhere smells amazing on Wai Kru Day but the best part is, we get the morning off class!
Wai Kru Day Reading Comprehension
Read the questions and answer using full sentences.
1. When is Wai Kru Day celebrated each year?
2. Why is Bermuda grass used and what does it symbolize?
3. Why are eggplant flowers used?
4. What are the bouquets wrapped with?
5. What happens to the flowers after the ceremony?
What’s your favourite part of Wai Kru Day? Please share your best answers in the comment section.