Regardless of race, nationality, or religion, we can all agree that a wedding is one of the most important milestones in life.
In traditional weddings, some customs may vary from one country to another. For instance, Thailand has two kinds of marriages: civil union and traditional Buddhist marriage.
In this article, we’ll discuss Thai wedding customs and how they deal with the sanctity of the holy matrimony. Take note that these traditions may differ in other parts of Thailand.
- When it comes to the marriage proposal, the bride and groom have no direct involvement because it is the groom’s best friend who will formally ask the bride’s father for her daughter’s hand.
- As part of the traditional wedding in Thailand, the marriage date should be set at a prosperous time and date based on the stars' alignment, which usually takes place in August. Couples may seek an astrologer to check the compatibility. Moreover, the ceremony should start at exactly 9:09 (9 is a lucky number in Thailand) to ensure good fortune according to Buddhist teachings.
- Groom should pay homage to the bride’s ancestor by offering money to a temple or releasing a captive animal such as fish, bird, or turtle. According to the customs of a traditional wedding in Thailand, giving merits will provide a long-lasting marriage.
- ·The giving of dowry (sinsod) is a way to express the groom’s gratitude to the bride’s family for raising a fine lady. It is done through a procession filled with musical rhythms and a dancing parade. Aside from the sinsod, gifts like gold jewelry should be given to the bride and her family.
Traditional Wedding Ceremony
- The first part of the wedding ceremony happens in the morning when three to nine monks will bless the bride and groom. It is traditionally attended by the couple's family and closest friends.
- During the morning wedding ceremony, Buddhist monks will chant prayers while lighting a candle placed in a bowl of lustral water. To end the ritual, monks will anoint the foreheads of the bride and groom using water or white paste.
- After the morning ceremony, the bride and groom will prepare food for the monks. No one is allowed to eat until the monks are done with their meals. If the ceremony is held in a temple, the couple is expected to make donations.
- The traditional wedding in Thailand originally separates the engagement ceremony (thong mun) from the actual wedding. But practicality-wise, most couples prefer to hold the two events on the same day.
- During the second part of the wedding ceremony, the couple should wear traditional Thai clothing while kneeling in front of a senior elder, with the groom positioned on the right.
- Another traditional wedding ceremony in Thailand is called the “rod nam samg.” A senior elder will pour sacred water on the couple’s hands while wearing garlands on their neck as a bowl of flowers is placed below to catch the water.
- When evening comes, it is the time when guests can enjoy the buffet and dinner banquet. It has been part of the Thai wedding tradition to maintain the limit of guests and avoid bringing along uninvited or unannounced visitors.
- During the reception or evening feast, everyone is welcome to attend.
- Guests will tie white strings around the couple’s wrist to wish them good luck.
- In most Thai weddings, there is an old tradition where an elderly couple will wait for the newlyweds to arrive. They are in charge to prepare the bridal bed with bags of rice and coins that represent prosperity and fertility. Chill out, the old couple won't stay with you all night.
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