Although the 2nd prized in any competitions does not sound pleasing, the number 2 can mean a pair. So, I would like to take about Thai Marriage, a pair of lovers.
Thai Marriage is one of the most complex traditions in Thailand, especially during the wedding day, because there are at least six main steps to follow.
1.Khan Makk Parade
On the morning of the wedding, the groom will lead the Khan Makk Parade to the bride’s house. The parade usually consists of:
A drum band
The family of the groom
A girl holding the Khan Makk Bowl, a golden bowl decorated with even numbers of flowers, seeds, and coins
A boy holding gifts for the bride
Groom’s friends holding sweets and fruits (Most sweets, fruits, and gifts in the parade have meaning. For example, orange means lucky and rich, apple means healthy, pomegranate means happy family.)
2.Barring the Groom from Approaching the Bride
After the groom arrives to the bride’s house, the bride’s relatives will hold chains in order to bar the groom from meeting the bride. So, the groom has to offer money so that they will let the groom pass.
3.Counting the Dowry
Usually, the bride’s family will ask the groom for a certain amount of money, gold and jewelry before the wedding. This is because after the marriage, the bride will leave her house to go to the groom’s house so the bride’s family can use the money they receive to maintain their life.
During the counting, the groom formally presents the dowry to the guests. Then, the bride family carries the dowry away.
4.Paying respects to the Elders
Both the bride and the groom pay respect to the elders of the two families by bowing and placing their hands together on each of elders’ thighes. Then, both the couple and the elder exchange a gift and the elder will offer a blessing to the couple.
5.Water Pouring, Wet Powder, and Signing a Marriage Certificate
This is the most important part of the marriage because it states that the couple becomes husband and wife. First, the couple would place their hands on the golden bowl together. Then, each guest will pour water on the couple’s hands and offer a blessing. After that, they will apply the wet powder on the couple’s foreheads. Finally, the couple signs a marriage certificate.
The elders of the couple will prepare the nuptial bed for the bride and the groom. They also prepare some special items to place on the bed. “Each of the items will represent a long and happy marriage. The items include a wax gourd, a large tomcat, a stone and a gold and silver pouch containing beans, sesame seeds, popped rice and the petals from flowers whose meaning symbolizes love, longevity or happiness.” (http://www.weddingsquare.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=59849)
After that, the elders will leave the room and the couple will sleep together at that night. (In the past, this is usually the first time that the couple has sex; however, it is almost always untrue in the present.)