Thais unique way of arranging flowers
24.09.2011 - 24.09.2011 32 °C
The Thai way of creating garlands became popular during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V. In more modern times you can see vendors at most major intersections selling their garlands to drivers stopped on a red light. Unfortunately some of these vendors are very young, and definitely not the place to be for their young lungs, among the Bangkok polluted roadways. But some would say they have to make a living like the rest of us.
Along major roads like Silom and Sukhumvit in Bangkok you’ll most likely come across a vendor balancing a woven tray filled with colourful garlands on top of their heads, or sat beside the road waiting for the next customer.
Garlands are offered to the spirits every morning and placed in front of the spirit houses all over Thailand to please the spirits with their aromatic smell of jasmine, and placed reverently at the base of Buddha images in family shrines.
The way of creating these garlands is by threading a variety of petals and flowers on a cord with the use of a huge needle. Garlands can vary widely in design, with some mainly white petals to some very elaborate colourful designs. A garland can be circular to resemble a necklace or bracelet, or long with two strands of flowers separated by a ribbon.
Garlands are also presented and worn at many festive occasions, such as graduations, birthdays and weddings, for good luck. They are even given to Thai boxers at their fights. Before every bout, a boxer must dance the wai kru which is a choreographed ritual to respect their trainer and opponent. During this rite, a flower garland is draped around the boxer’s neck. Taxi drivers also drape a garland around their rear view mirror, which gives a natural freshness to their vehicles.
This unique Thai way of arranging flowers has been popular for 150 years, and I’m sure will continue for many years to come.
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