Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's Birthday on August 12th
Experiences of an engineer, travelling to Thailand on Mothers Day ...
Already some weeks before the Mothers Day takes place, a lot of pictures of H.M. The Queen are placed in public places
e.g. in front of your house. This is the 'Thai way' to express loyalty and honor towards the Queen.
In a larger scale, famous streets and places are decorated with garlands and colourful lights - and even larger pictures.
Television stations insert H.M.'s logo.
On Mothers Day it is - as in many other countries - custom to invite the mothers for lunch and/or dinner.
You may as well give some flowers on that occasion. Usually jasmine flowers (ดอกมะลิ) are chosen, because
their white colour symbolises the purity of a mothers love. As the price for jasmin flower garlands reaches
astronomic heights at that day, you may choose red / white roses as well :-)
In order to have a good charma for that day (and later on), it is usually started with 'Tham Boon' (ทำบุญ) which means doing good deeds / make merit.
This can be done in many ways. Widely spread is the habbit to give freedom to some animals, fish or bird. The number of
the animals should contain the (lucky) digit '9', i.e. for a lot of luck, release 99 fish. As you do buy them in advance, this
may also be a question of cost, so 19 bodies will also do.
You may as well give alms to the monks or donate some money to a temple or any other institution. And, any combination of the above is also possible.
Like in other SEA countries, children do wash their mothers feet, but it was described to me more as a pouring of water, like on Songkran day over the hands.
It is likely more often done on mothers birthday.
Kneeling down in front of your mothers's feet, performing either a wai mae [ไหว้แม่] (left) or a wai pra [ไหว้พระ] (right) is the correct form
of paying respect to you mother on that day. Whilst the right version is the 'non plus ultra', the version on the left
seems commonly more used.
As caraoke is in SEA a welcome way of passing the time, it is slightly possible, that 'Mama' wants to go out
to a caraoke bar. To be prepared for that case, you may want to learn one of the songs proposed here.
Both are suiteable to win your listeners hearts. (if you are not too far away from the original sound / text :-).
Paying respect to the mother of all mother's is not only a honorable deed but also a sign of true, honest admiration and love towards your host.
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