Traditional Thai Wedding: The Morning Ritual
Although the actual wedding is legalized through the registration at the Amphur Office, the traditional Thai wedding ceremony starts early in an astrologically decided auspicious day. The morning ritual features a procession lead by the groom with his relatives to the house of the bride or wedding venue. This segment of a traditional Thai wedding is for bringing gifts and tokens to the bride and her family. Many perform the ritual before the wedding day as a proposal ceremony and to pay homage to the bride’s family and to her ancestors. The next part is to offer foods to the monks invited to bless the couple. After that, the couples and the relatives make merit to place the traditional Thai wedding as a successful one.
Traditional Thai Wedding: The Gate and the Shell Ceremony
The “Gate” or “Door” ceremony is the fun but inseparable part of a traditional Thai wedding. The sisters and other female relatives of the brides block the way for the groom to enter bride’s house with a “Silver” gate and then a “Gold” gate. The ladies hold a silver and golden ribbon, thread or chain and let the groom go when he offers them with fair amount of money. This ritual in a traditional Thai wedding stands for the capability of the groom for the bride. The following ceremony is often taken as the key event of a traditional Thai wedding and that is the “Shell” ceremony. Here all the relatives of the couple pour holy water enchanted by the monks using a conch on the hands of the couple to purify and bless their relationship.
Traditional Thai Wedding: Evening Celebrations
By the time the “Shell” ceremony ends in a traditional Thai wedding, it is almost end of the day. So, the evening party starts with cutting the wedding cake in urban areas. In the rural areas, the traditional Thai wedding is quite simple yet joyous. The party continues with music, dance and all the other fun-acts. The celebrations of a traditional Thai wedding involve all the guests and may last up to late hours.
Traditional Thai Wedding: The Bridal Bed and Closing Customs
The final custom for a traditional Thai wedding is preparing the “Bridal Bed”. When the newly married couple enters their nuptial chamber, they find an old married couple sitting on their bed with other tokens of prosperity and fertility. This ritual in a traditional Thai wedding is to pass on their successful married life’s essence to the new couple. Among the last rituals of a traditional Thai wedding, presenting the bride’s family with “sinsod” or dowry is a major one. This is performed to show the groom’s competence.
There might be some additions and exclusions in a traditional Thai wedding through out Thailand, but the basics remain same to celebrate the couple’s new life.