Thai Culture with Flowers (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Thai Culture with Flowers

Flowers are related to Thai culture for a very long time in various moments of life. In auspicious ceremonies, flowers are used as symbols of felicitation or decoration of the venue. In funerals, they are indications of condolences. Moreover, religiously, the flowers are also used as offerings to communicate with the divine.

Thai People with Floral Handicrafts (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Thai People with Floral Handicrafts

Thai people were knowledgeable with floral handicrafts for hundreds of years. Though there were no proofs of when the Thais began to craft flowers, we can say it has been fully developed during the Rattanakosin Era. Through selections of flowers, needlework, binding, and threading, the Thais created various and distinctive floral crafts.      

Ladies of the Court and Floral Handicrafts (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Ladies of the Court and Floral Handicrafts

The ladies of the court played a major role in encouraging their ladies-in-waiting to develop floral craft skills since they were young. Thus, the floral crafts were renowned for their precise and meticulous creativity.

Learning Floral Handicrafts (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Learning Floral Handicrafts

The ladies-in-waiting were assigned to floral crafts every day since their ladies of courts were regularly responsible for decorating royal ceremonies. The work was systematic; the younger ladies-in-waiting were entitled to thread small pieces, the older were responsible for assembling the whole piece, and the chief supervised all the process. If it occurred to be a large ceremony, the flower work would be delegated between each palace, and they would help put everything together in the end.

Thai Flower Hanging, the Creative Innovation of Floral Arts (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Thai Flower Hanging, the Creative Innovation of Floral Arts

Floral crafts, however, were not only arranging flowers into vases but creating innovative floral arts with every possible components of the flowers. For instance, Thai people made flower hanging to decorate the doors and windows, made creative and unique flower garland patterns, and made flower lamps for religious offerings.

Interwoven Garland, the Creation from Flowers (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Interwoven Garland, the Creation from Flowers

The interwoven garlands were developed by Queen Mother Sri Bajrindra from the usual white garland by interweaving flowers and leaves with different colors with it to create more creative patterns. 

Thai Flower Sash, Men Courtier Accessory (2021-03-28) by SuanSunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Thai Flower Sash, Men Courtier Accessory

Thai flower sashes were invented by Prayoon Wong, King Rama V’s concubine. These flower ruffles with pendants were used as sashes across the shoulder of the King’s officials and courtiers.

Scented Candle, Flower Perfumery (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Scented Candle, Flower Perfumery

Flowers were also used as various forms of perfumeries such as facial talcum, scented candle for ornaments, and also body fragrance. 

Flower Garland with People Faith (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Flower Garland with People Faith

Flowers were also used as religious offering to the divine that one believed in. Hence, flowers weren’t associated only with beauty but also with the faith of the people. 

Clay-core Floral Lamp, Thai Ancient Religious Offering (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Clay-core Floral Lamp, Thai Ancient Religious Offering

Clay-core floral lamps are ancient religious offering. In the past, the ladies used clay to form a high lotus-bud-shaped lamp then put rows and columns of sticks around it and topped the sticks with blossoms. This required precision and expertise to excel a delicate pattern of flowers and to form this religious offering. These days, foam boards are used as the core in lieu of clay making the original style nearly extinct.

Preserved Magnolia Champaca, Flower Preserving (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Preserved Magnolia Champaca, Flower Preserving

Preserved magnolia champaca, invented by M.R. Sa-dup, King Rama V’s concubine, was aimed to preserve the beauty of flowers in a glass bottle through time. It was used to pay respect to Buddha or given as presents for the elders.

Edible Flower Dish (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Edible Flower Dish

Thai flowers are also edible. Flowers can be found in various recipe since ancient time; peonies are cooked in clear soup, frangipanis are battered, deep-fried and eaten with chili paste, and viburnums are dipped with dressings. They are not only appetizing but also medicinal.

Thais’ Wisdom on Floral Handicrafts (2021-03-28) by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat UniversityThe Office of Arts and Culture, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University

Thais’ Wisdom on Floral Handicrafts

Floral handicrafts didn’t serve only as leisure but also reflect Thais’ wisdom of using flowers with maximum benefit. You can see that flowers are closely linked to Thai culture and lifestyle from womb to tomb. 

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