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Doors ceremony

A procession leaded by the groom and with the relatives bring the gifts and the food to the bride's home. Music is played during the whole procession ceremony. The procession song is called "RAM VONG KLONG YAO" (รำวงกลองยาว)).

Procession song Click on the loudspeaker Listen to listen to the song. Real Player
Procession ceremony
During this ceremony (พิธีแห่ขันหมาก), the groom leads the guests. If the groom's house is too far from the bride's house, a place like a bus stop can symbolise the groom's house. The groom walks followed by his parents, family and friends. The groom has to cross symbolic doors before entering into the bride's house.
Procession ceremony

In traditional Thai weddings, the groom shall cross two gates called "silver gate" and "gold gate". The gates are on the way from the groom's home to the bride's home. To open the gate, the groom must give a gift, i.e. some money to the children. Of course the amount is bigger to open the gold gate than the silver gate.

Doors are symbolised by girls holding a chain. Often those girls are the bride's sisters. At each door the groom is asked if he is rich enough to take care about his wife and his family. He has to give an envelope to each girl in order that they remove the chain to let him pass. The envelope contains money. Each time a door is symbolically opened, people are shouting.



Wash feet ceremony

When the groom has opened symbolically all the doors, the bride is waiting for him at the house entry. Here can happen the wash feet ceremony. It does not happen in all weddings. The husband stands on a small stool and his wife washes his feet and makes a Thai greeting towards them ("WAI" - ไหว้). It is a symbol of respect, allegiance to husband and also a way to thank the groom for all he has done for the wedding (most expenses are paid by the groom family). Now as Thailand has entered a new era of equality between men and women, this tradition is not always respected.

During the marriage ceremony, money is shown to the guests. Most of the time the money is only shown in order to save the face of the bride's family but after the marriage ceremony the money is given back to the couple. For foreigners the amount is often more than 100,000 Baht in cash and some gold jewels. Often a gold chain is offered. In Thailand gold is measured in "Baht", the Thai gold measure. Thai people like gold more than banknotes. Thai people think that if sudden problems happen, gold can be sold to get cash. The wedding day is not a random day. An astrologer has set the best day according to the stars.

All the money is displayed to show that the bride has married a rich groom.
money
Money in cash

In Thai society, people living together are considered as a married couple even if there are no official papers. Thai women often call their husband as "FAEN" (แฟน - boyfriend) instead of "SAMI" (สามี - husband). A nice nickname is also "THI RAK" (ที่รัก - darling). Often Thai Buddhist weddings are social weddings and the legal papers will be done later on if they need them for any legal purpose.



White thread ceremony

White tread ceremony
In a room, the newly weds sit close to each other. An old and wise man said auspicious sentences in order to bless the wedding and give hints to the bride. Then white threads are linked to the wrists of the newly weds. Threads are soaked with holy water.
White tread ceremony

In Thai language the Thread ceremony is called "PHITI BAI SRI SU KWAN" (พิธีบ่ายศรีสู่ขวัญ).

The "BAI SRI" tree is often prepared by friends and neighbours. It is made of banana leaves. It is in the center of the "BAI SRI" ceremony. This ceremony has an Indian origin. The tree shape reminds of the mythic mount Meru (the center of the universe).
bai sri tree
"Bai sri" tree
bai sri
Newly weds have a white thread joining their heads. Some symbolic food is given to the newly weds. The guests attach a white string around the couple wrists and bless the couple.
"Bai sri" ceremony

Then a long thread is attached to the newly weds wrists. The groom and bride tear it on their side until the thread breaks. The one, who has the longest part, is the one who loves deeper.



Shell ceremony

Outside the house, the newly weds kneel on a pedestal with their hands clasped together. A quite old man said auspicious sentences and anointed them on the forehead. The newly weds wear beautiful garlands around the neck.

water
Every guest pours a shell filled with holy water ("NAM SANG" - น้ำสังข์) on the hands of the bride and groom. They say holy sentences and blessings to the newly weds.
Pour holy water

Then the guest puts an envelope (containing money) in a basket or gives a gift. Amount depends on status. Every time an envelope is given, a little gift commemorating the wedding is given to the guest. The ceremony continues with the photo seance with all guests. The ceremony is over around 11:00 a.m.




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