Six Thai Wedding Traditions You Should Know
If you have been invited to a friend’s traditional Thai wedding or are engaged and looking to honor the Thai heritage in your wedding, there are a few customs typically incorporated into Thai weddings that you should be aware of.
Thai weddings may slightly vary from region to region. Some cultural and religious practices are commonly seen across every wedding in Thailand and during nuptials honoring Thai heritage. Let us learn more about the Thai wedding traditions!
Pick an auspicious wedding date
Thai people believe that there are favorable dates and times for planning significant events. It is important that the actual day, Thai to-be-weds exchange vows need to be auspicious. A special monk with knowledge of astrology is consulted to help decide what date would be best for the union to be blessed and the marriage to be strong.
Making merit through receiving a monk’s blessing is an important pre-wedding step for couples exchanging traditional Thai nuptials. On the wedding day morning, the groom and bride have to invite nine monks (nine is the lucky number in Thai belief) to their place and serve food to the monks. The monks will bless the couple to have prosperity in their married life.
Khan Maak procession
After making merit, the groom leads the Khan-Maak parade to the bride’s house. This is the beginning of the engagement session when the groom and his party offer gifts to the bride’s family. The procession brings a lot of fun to the event and is accompanied by musicians playing traditional long drums as the entourage dances its way to the bride’s house.
The engagement ceremony
The engagement ceremony is a very intimate part of the whole wedding, and it requires the couple’s parents and elderly closer relatives. During this ceremony, the engagement rings are exchanged by the couples.
Sai Monkhon or white thread ritual
After the engagement comes the most heartfelt tradition of the wedding, the ‘Sai Monkhon’ ritual. The bride and groom must sit or kneel next to each other. Their arms rest on a small padded table and their hands must be held together in the prayer position. An elder member of the family, who is considered to have a successful marriage will place the traditional headpiece called ‘Mong Kol’ on the head of both the bride and groom. This white thread headpiece, previously blessed by monks, must be made out of one piece of cotton and will join the couple during the rest of the ceremony, and symbolically for the rest of their lives.
Rod Nam Sang or water pouring ceremony
After the white thread ritual, water blessing is the next step of a traditional Thai wedding ceremony. The bride will always sit to the left of the groom and both of them will have ceremonial hairdressing on their heads. After that, the guests will take the conch shell, filled with water (from religious ceremony) to pour over the couple’s hands and bless them.
You got to admit, there is a certain charm and romance in getting married through a traditional Thai wedding ceremony.