We scrambled to be at the venue before 7am. The 9 monks were already set up on the stage in their orange robes — 5 elders and 4 younger — ready with their strings, candle and water. The number of monks may vary but 9 is a lucky number, so they say. This is the very first ceremony and forgive me if I may have jumbled the sequence after the Monks blessing of the string or thread, water, the offering to the monks, the Tea Ceremony, the Dessert Ceremony, the blessings with water, lighting of the candle, adornment of flower garlands, the giving of messages, the anointing of 3 dots of white paste like a triangle on the forehead, etc.
It was a very solemn affair. I am completely charmed by the sacred Thai customs and solemn Buddhist rites held in the morning, near noon and in the evening. I was completely lost that I hardly took any photos and have resorted to grabbing photos from the Net as posted by friends of the newlyweds. Mea culpa.
The blessed thread are wound like a tiara around the groom’s and bride’s head and “tied by this cord” they kneel together with hands ready to be doused like a blessing rite by each member of the family and friends. It is a very touching affair as some say this is the actual wedding rite.
Showing the newlyweds’ respects both in the Tea Ceremony in the morning and the Dessert Ceremony in the evening affair is very significant as it is dramatically symbolic. Bowing really really low is a supreme act of humility. Ironic that I find this admirable act of humility as a potent symbol of Thai pride in upholding their beautiful traditions and customs. I am truly impressed. Near the evening ceremony’s end, messages of blessings were sought from representatives of each family.
And while there were serious moments in the morning and evening affairs, the groom’s family’s procession was actually a lot of fun — at the groom’s expense. But that required a separate (previous) blog. I am simply writing this to chronicle a milestone in a nephew’s life. Hope the junior members of the family will one day read this and find meaning in their participation in this momentous event.
Photo Credits to Ekarin Patarapongwatana, Sarah Cee and other friends of the newlyweds.
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