04 Oct 2015
Knowledge on Lanna wedding ceremony
1. Khan Mak Processing (Items Offered for Engagement)
The wedding merrily starts with the procession of Khan Mak or Items Offered for Engagement, beautifully dressed in their finest, those from the groom’s family start parading to the bride’s house at an auspicious time. Khan Mak Eak and Khan Mak Toe (a basin of betel nut) is set gracefully in decorative Thai style trays along with other items believed to be sacred to the future family such as money, gold, ring, necklace or bracelet. Prepare dessert and fruits two to three days prior to your wedding day. The other things that must be prepared are sugar cane and betel nut.
2. Tray of Engagement (Khan Mark Eak and Khan Mark Toe)
Tray of Engagement consist of Khan Mark Eak and Khan Mak Toe, first tray is full of auspicious substances such as grain, bean, sesame, gold leaf, silver left which represent prosperity, affection and peaceful co-existence. Second Tray is ‘Khan Mak Toe’ consist of a lot of fruits and sweet, set in pair which represent good fortune, prosperity, wealthy, rich, and survival. There is also Third Tray, the tray for respect senior person of their families, consist of a pair of banana trees, a pair of sugar canes and betel nut, decorated with red paper.
3.Groom’s Presents Parade
When the time comes for this auspicious occasion, the groom’s parade led by the matchmaker will walk carrying numerous offerings to the bride’s house and present them to the bride’s parents as a mark of respect. There are no set rules about the parade as each area differs in details.
The parade begins walking when all the offerings and the procession are ready. During the procession, firecrackers are usually lit to the hoot of laughter and sometimes a gun is fired into the sky as a signal sound to the bride that the parade will soon be arriving. Some processions are led by a drum or brass band with elders and the young joining the parade to dance with the band.
When the sounds of hooting and cheering are heard at the bride’s house, the bridesmaid hides the bride in her room, with relatives using strings or lace to bar the entrance. The groom and his matchmaker must therefore be prepared to pay a bridal fee in order to get into the bride’s room. Three doors are normally barred (known as victory, silver and golden gate; or brass, silver and golden gate), and at each door the groom must put an even amount of money into two envelopes for the two people who are on guard, with the final or golden door receiving the largest payment. The setting off of firecrackers and gun firing generally occur when the parade starts, at the middle of the journey and at the bride’s house. Sometimes, the bride’s family also fires a gun or lights a firecracker to welcome the parade.
4. Tray for receiving the groom’s presents
When the parade arrives at the home, the bride’s family will have a prepared tray of betel nuts for the matchmaker, which is usually carried by a young girl or elder relative of the bride. The matchmaker then exchanges the betel nuts on the tray for some presents or money outside the house and after receiving the tray back, the parade is lead inside. The bride’s parents and other seniors will be present to show respect and will talk about the auspicious events of the day. Sometimes, the ceremony is organized by experts called ‘nai khan mhak’ while other elders only joining the parade and acting as persons of importance.
5.Thai marriage at large and definitely the ceremony of traditional
Thai wedding interlinked with an ancient tradition called Sinsod. A custom of paying a dowry (dowery) to compensate a family of bride “for mother’s milk”.
This ceremony will be taken place in front of both side parents. The groom’s parent will inform the bride’s for what They have brought for such as money, jewelry etc. Once the bride’s parent accept Sinsod or the gifts, they will spread Auspicious flowers on the Sinsod for blessing the couple marriage life. After that the bride and groom will exchange their rings as a promising.
6. Token Acceptance
Accepting the bride and groom’s token is usually held on prepared chairs or a mattress. Parents sit on the prepared chairs or mattress and the bride and groom will opposite them. The bride and groom will wai (prostrate themselves with hands pressed together) once on a pillow, and then give flowers with a candle and joss sticks to the parents who will bless them and give them presents or money. The token accepting ceremony is finished when the parents tie a sacred thread on their wrists as a token of their love and acceptance.
7. Food offerings to monks
It’s very normal for Thai wedding ceremonies to be in one way or another linked with religion and merit making. The wedding is also linked with the idea of an auspicious act, therefore after the parents have accepted their token, the bride and groom will offer food to the monks who have been invited to the house by host of the ceremony. In the past, even numbers of monks such as four or eight were invited, but nowadays Thais believe that number nine is lucky. Accordingly, nine monks are usually invited, and with one Buddha image at the ceremony this comes to ten, thus making even number. Monks will sit on the left of the altar tables that holds the Buddha image and offerings and which should face to the east or north. (According to Buddhist principals, which are not so strict, the altar table can in fact face in any direction). Ordinarily during Buddhist chanting the host will be the one who lights the candles and joss sticks, but in a wedding ceremony this must be done by the bride and groom.
8. Life expanding ceremony
The life expanding ceremony signifies the beginning of married life and Lanna people believe that this ceremony will lengthen and better the married couple’s lives. Before the ceremony starts, the host of the house will prepare offerings and place them in the middle of the ceremonial pavilion made by leaning three wooden poles against each other to be wide enough so that bride and groom can sit in the middle. They will also tie sacred thread around the poles and put the end in front of the holy water at the altar table. Food is then offered to the monks, with usually seven or nine monks in attendance.
9. Shaman Invokes Spirits (held by the bride’s family)
The bride and groom will sit at a prepared place before the shaman starts the invoking of spirits ceremony by putting garlands on their heads. “Kwan” or what ancient people belief that each person has their own 32 parts of soul that everywhere we goes, some of our spirits might be lost. So on the wedding day or in special occasions, the shaman will call back all 32 parts back for ignorance on this special ceremony with a local traditional language.
After that all guests tide holy thread on the couple wrist a bless for their marriage life.
(Things to prepare: place for bride and groom to sit; a tray with sacred thread; head garlands; strings of flowers; layers of arranged flowers (bai sri); and sacred powder for making marks on their forehead).
10. Tying sacred thread ceremony
– The shaman is the first to tie sacred thread on the bride and groom’s wrists, followed by elder relatives.
– Guests tie sacred thread on bride and groom’s wrists and then have lunch.
– Bride and groom are then delivered to their bedroom (only for family members and senior relatives)
– Bride and groom greet and welcome their guests.