Thai Traditional Wedding - Part I

Hello students welcome to Thai Centre website that has many resources for researching about Thai culture. Anyway this time we have more interesting topic  about  wedding ceremony in Thai. You’ll love and enjoy  with this ceremony in Thailand.

First step: 
Choose a wedding date.

When the couple determined to marry, the first thing they have to do is to choose a wedding date. To ensure a happy and prosperous marriage, the couple should marry at an auspicious time and date. This isn’t taken lightly and astrologers may be consulted to see if the stars are compatible.

       Second step: Wedding invitations some parts of the wedding day.

Wedding invitations list the times that each of the most important ceremonies start. The timing of the Buddhist ceremony is set to ensure good luck and will commence at an auspicious time such as 09.09 (9 is a lucky number in Thailand). Thai people aren’t generally renowned for their punctuality, but they will pay particular attention to wedding times to ensure good luck for the couple being married. When it comes to the evening feast or wedding reception, invitations are more casual and a verbal invite can suffice.


Third step: Thai Buddhist Blessing.

In the past, even numbers of monks such as four or eight were invited. However, nowadays Thai people believe that number nine is a lucky number. Accordingly, nine monks are usually invited, and with one Buddha image at the ceremony this comes to ten, thus making even number. The couple also invited nine monks to their ceremony. The monks chanted whilst a lit candle was placed in a bowl of water. This lustral water was then used later to bless the couple. A bowl of white paste was also blessed which was used later to anoint the foreheads of the bride and groom. After the chant finished, the wedding couple and their relatives offered food to the monks. Nobody else is permitted to eat until the monks have finished their meal. Then the monks left the ceremony.


Forth step:
Khan Maak.

According to Thai customs, a couple traditionally becomes engaged during a ceremony known as “KanMaak“ (ขันหมาก). “KanMak” means “bowl of betel nuts”. Things to put in the Khan Mak tray may vary by culture in different regions. These items represent important aspects of the marriage, such as health, prosperity, fertility and longevity. Generally, items in the KanMaak tray are The young betel nuts 4 or 8 pieces;  Betel leaves Silver bag which contains money, usually coins; Golden bag  which contains mung beans, popped rice, sesame seeds;  Meaningful flowers which commonly be:

- Calotropisgigantea (Crown flower) which in Thai is called “Dorkrak” ;Rák (รัก) means “Love”.

- Globe amaranth which in Thai is called “Dòrk baan mâi  rúu  roai” (ดอกบานไม่รู้โรย) the name means “always bloom”, so the couple’s love will always bloom.

– Marigold which in Thai is called “Dòrkdaaorueang” (ดอกดาวเรือง), the name เรือง rueang sounds like the word รุ่งเรือง rung rueang” meaning “prosperous”.

Fifth step: Khan Maak Procession.

Traditionally in Thai culture, the family of the groom discuss with the family of the bride how much dowry “sinsod” (สินสอดshould be paid. Once this is agreed, the engagement can take place which involves an offering of gold and gifts for the bride and her family. The groom and his family form a procession to take the “khan maak man”.

  “Items for engagement” on special trays to the family of the bride. In olden times it used to be that the procession would leave from the groom’s house and walk to  the bride’s house, but modern life has changed things slightly. 

Nowadays, the khan maak procession often takes place on the same day as the wedding itself and starts just around the corner from where the bride is staying. The procession is a lot of fun and is accompanied by musicians playing traditional long drums as the entourage dances its way to the bride’s house. 

Banana leaves and sugar canes are paraded like banners by some of the attendants,

while others the traditional gifts of the KanMaak, which includes rice, sesame seeds, Thai food for the feast and many Thai desserts, as well as monetary gifts and other precious items, such as gold and jewelry, which will make up the dowry to the bride’s parents later on in the ceremony. 

Many of these gifts represent important aspects of the marriage, such as health, prosperity, fertility and longevity. The Thai desserts to be eaten as part of the feast consists of nine different items. The number 9 is important in Thai society and it’s use on occasions such as this is regarded as very lucky.

The Thai Deserts

Piyanart Chuanchoey
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