Thai Wedding Traditions and Customs

Lance's Wedding in Thailand
Image by johnmuk via Flickr

Thai weddings have many customs that are unique. The customs are followed in traditional steps. Prior to the ceremony, the groom pays a visit to the bride’s home. There he will speak with her family about the gifts and money that he will give them. It is a special Thai tradition for the groom to thank the bride’s family for allowing him to marry her. He will give them money and nice gifts as a way to assure them that he will be a good husband to her.

On the day of the wedding, a procession ceremony will begin early in the morning. This ceremony, which is a Lao tradition, is referred to as Kae Khun Mag or Kaih Khun Maak. The groom leads the ceremony, as he and the guests bring food and gifts to the bride’s family. He is followed by his own family, friends, and associates. The procession ends as a popular song called am Klong Yao is played. This is a very lively song that is played during important festivities.

Once he arrives at the bride’s home, the groom must cross through two gates. The Silver gate and the Gold gate.  The bride’s female relatives block two doors with necklaces and chains. They will not move for the groom until he pays them with either money or trinkets. He will have to do this in order to get through both of the gates. He must, of course, pay even more money in order to pass through the gold gate.

After he symbolically opens the two doors, he will finally be allowed to enter the house. His bride will be waiting for him. There may or may not be a special feet washing ceremony. This ceremony happens at some Thai weddings, but sometimes not all. If the bride chooses to, she can show a sign of allegiance to her husband by washing his feet. She will thank him for the money and gifts he gave her family. In modern times women in Thailand aren’t required to do so if they don’t want to.

Many Thai weddings will have a Buddhist wedding ceremony. This kind of wedding ceremony consists of nine monks coming to the house. The groom, bride, relatives, and friends all prepare food for all the monks. The monks will give the bride and groom their blessings.

Later in the afternoon, the Thell Ceremony will take place. This is referred to as Good Nam Sang. This, of course, is the main part of the wedding. Both families come together and watch the couple as they give their vows and receive their blessings. The parents of both the bride and groom will fill a shell up with holy water, or Kam Sang. They will then pour the water over the hands of the bride and groom as they give them their blessings.

Finally, after the wedding customs are completed, the party will be held later in the evening. Depending on where the families live, the party can either be held at their own house or a hotel. A large dinner is held for all the guests. The celebration is filled with a lot of music, dancing, and fun. The newlyweds will walk around the tables to thank each guest for coming.

Of course, the traditions have changed over the centuries, and not all Thai weddings adhere by all these customs anymore. Nonetheless, Thai weddings are special occasions that are unique and entertaining.

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One Response to Thai Wedding Traditions and Customs

  1. Pingback: The Wedding Times » Thai Wedding Traditions and Customs

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