AYUTTHAYA, Thailand, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province and the Tourism Authority of Thailand held the annual Wai Khru Muay Thai ceremony, during which 1,260 Thai boxing learners around the world came here to pay respect to Thai boxing masters.
The 14th ceremony, held near the historical temple of Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya Saturday night, began with cultural shows, Buddhist chanting and paying respect to Khanom Tom, the father of Muay Thai, or Thai boxing.
Wai Khru literally means paying respect to teachers or masters in the Thai language.
The ceremony also includes putting Mongkol, a type of headgear worn by Thai boxing athletes, on learners' heads by Thai boxing masters.
Learners and athletes of over 50 countries and regions attended the ceremony.
"It is not about boxing, it is about Thai culture, which we learnt from the process of practicing Muay Thai," said Qian Jing and Dong Yunlong, two Chinese Thai boxing learners from Shanghai.
"The more we learned, the more we can control ourselves and the more inspiration we get to keep learning," they said as both of them practiced Thai boxing for over three years.
Peng Haiyan, a Chinese woman who learned Thai boxing for a year, said she loved the sports and had to thank her Thai teachers back in China.
The World Wai Khru Muay Thai Ceremony 2018 ensures that the martial art is being properly preserved and curated for future generations, said Santi Chudintra, deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Wai Khru is much more than a ceremonial kick boxing ritual, performance art or just paying respect to teachers. It is also an importance part of the Thai culture and martial art history, Santi added.