What is a myth? Myths are stories of gods, heroes, and magical creatures. Ancient people used myths to explain how things in the world happened. Today, people can learn about the history and culture of a place by learning about its myths.
Myths are a big part of Thai culture. Many people in Thailand practice Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion that has many myths.
One Thai myth is the myth of the Himmapan Forest. The Himmapan Forest is said to be a magical forest, invisible to humans. Some people believe the forest is in the Himalayas. The Himalayas is a real mountain range in Asia. According to Thai myth, this forest has unique creatures. These creatures are a mix of two different animals. One of these creatures is a horse with a bird’s head. Another is a lion with the head of an elephant.
Nagas also live in this mythical forest. Nagas are half-human, half-snake creatures that have many heads. Nagas are strong and powerful. They can be dangerous to humans. But they can also bring good luck. Some nagas protect gods and treasure. In one myth, a naga protected the Buddha from the rain while the Buddha meditated. The Buddha was a teacher and thinker who created the Buddhist religion.
Thailand has festivals where people celebrate these stories. Many Thai artists also use mythical creatures as inspiration. You can spot carvings of these animals on temple walls in Thailand.
Older Thai people pass along myths to their children. These myths have been a part of Thai culture for thousands of years.