When: 17 Mar 2017
Time: 1:00pm – 7:30pm
Where: Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
The Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony will be held this year on March 17th in the ancient city of Ayutthaya in Thailand. In its 13th consecutive year, Muay Thai boxers from both Thailand and all around the world travel to Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya to pay deep respect to their coaches, mentors, and teachers. The event also allows for travelers and locals alike to celebrate and learn more about Muay Thai. Find the program for this event at the bottom of this article.
The Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony is a very old tradition. Thai fighters work tirelessly to improve on their boxing skills, and their teachers arguably work twice as hard. This ancient sport of self defense and respect humbles and strengthens its participants.
Waves of Muay Thai fighters attend this Ceremony annually because of the importance of this practice. For those who are learning to fight, homage must be paid to those who paved the way for this sport. In Muay Thai, the mutual respect of combatants is one of, if not the most important aspect of the sport. This creates an incredible atmosphere of power and humility at the Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony.
“Wai” is a greeting of a small bow with palms pressed together, and is used daily in both casual and formal meetings in Thailand. On this particular afternoon, wai will take the forefront of greetings, as Muay Thai fighters pay respect to their seniors. The wai is thought to give gratitude to the teachers, and calmness to the fighters.
Whether you are a part of the action or observing, this is a moving sight, as the fighter then performs a variety of movements to traditional Thai music. These dance-like movements create a mindful space for the fighter to fully give gratitude and ready for fighting — watch the video below to see an example! If it is observed that fighters have similar movements, it is understood that they come from the same lineage of teachers and therefore understand each other’s fighting skills, and will not likely be fighting one another.
The ceremony takes place in Ayutthaya, where there stands a statue of Nai Khanom Tom, a hero in Thai culture, made famous for his victories against ten Burmese warriors in 1774 after being captured during the sacking and burning of Ayutthaya. A legendary story among Thai culture, Nai Khanom Tom’s strength and bravery presides over the ancient practice of Muay Thai.
Editorial credit: nattanan726 / Shutterstock.com
While many activities and shows take place during this ceremony to keep anyone fascinated, Ayutthaya is a place to be explored for a variety of reasons. Settled just north of Bangkok, this the ancient capital of Thailand has rich history as it lies ideally between China, India and the Malay Archipelago in regards to trading.
Many temples and monasteries, such as Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Phra Mahathat are sights to behold, while the boating culture is something to experience. The many ornate buildings of the area lend their beauty to a prefered and exciting activity of night-time bike rides through the city. The buildings and towers are gorgeous at any time of day, but the nighttime experience of seeing these behemoths lit-up is breathtaking. Another famed activity has to do with the local cuisine. Boat Noodle, traditionally prepared on one of the many floating paddle boats of the area, is something that must be eaten while in the area. If you find yourself hungry outside of the ceremony, Boat Noodle is the perfect pick-me-up.
2017 World Wai Kru Festival Program
The Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony is an incredible experience for everyone involved. Traveling to this area in March? Be sure to check out the activities and shows involved in this ancient sport with a modern twist. Ayutthaya is full of entertainment simply being as rich with history and culture as it is. For a true Thai experience, this trip is ideal.
Schedule: March 17, 2017 at Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Professional Muay Thai boxing, the “Miracle Muay Thai Festival” is held at Wat Langka Khao, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, including a fight for the World Professional Muay Thai Federation Championship Super-welterweight Title, a fight to defend the World Professional Muay Thai Federation Championship Welterweight.
On the fairgrounds, items and products relating to Muay Thai as well as Muay Thai training courses by famous Thai boxing camps are on offer. Besides, visitors can sample the taste of Ayutthaya typical Thai food from a vast array of dishes, for example, Pad Thai, Rice Noodles in Curried Fish Sauce, Ayutthaya Dishes with Rice, Herbal Jelly and Coconut Milk Ice Cream, etc.
Demonstrations of Thai handcrafts including talisman inscriptions and making of Aranyik swords, shows of Thai martial arts, a power test in the ancient form of Muay Thai training (by kicking banana trees), and a visit to the Muay Thai Gallery where there is a collection of photos depicting Muay Thai fighting tactics that perfectly combine the beauty and fierceness of fighting in the form of self-defense.
Meet and Greet with Buakaw Banchamek
Welcome to The 13th World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony.
Welcoming reception and the “Amazing Thailand” performance.