Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Traditional Thai flower arrangements

Thai flower garlands
Thai flower garlands, photo courtesy edna astronomia-estrada

Thai floral decoration is an art that has been in practice since the early times of history. It makes use not only of flowers but also leaves and branches and some additional materials such as incense sticks or candles. The most common of all the country's floral creations are garlands known as malai. They are made by stringing together various flower combinations that depend on seasonal blooms and the creator's imagination. The mixture, however, will always include one or more fragrant flowers, usually jasmine buds and roses. Garlands range from simple to highly complex and are placed as offerings on shrines, presented to honoured guests and used on many other special occasions.

Thai flower garlands
Thai flower garland, photo courtesy edna astronomia-estrada

One of the most basic forms of Thai flower arrangemnt is poom. This is made up of flowers arranged into a lotus shape on a stem glass bowl by embedding them in a core of moist earth or sawdust. The pattern is achieved by the use of flowers of different colour. Bowl arrangements are often used in wedding ceremonies, when they are placed beneath the hands of the bride and groom, to receive holy water poured by the guests.

Creating traditional Thai poom flower arrangement
Creating poom flower arrangement, photo from  here

Various poom flower arrangements
Various poom flower arrangements, photo source

Traditional Thai poom flower arrangement
Poom flower arrangement, photo source

A type of flower arrangement known as bai sri consists of banana leaves folded into various shapes and further adorned with fragrant flowers and sometimes a boiled egg or cooked rice. It is used in Buddhist rituals, at important ceremonies like weddings, house blessings and etc. and symbolizes good luck and success.


Bai sri flower arrangement
Bai sri floral arrangement, photo courtesy  Robert Wilson

Bai sri flower arrangement
Bai sri flower and banana trees arrangement, photo courtesy Paul Boscher

Another type of Thai floral decoration is in the form of a net cover over a saffron robe folded into a rectangular shape. Flowers used are crown flowers, bachelor's buttons and jasmines. There are also curtain and chandelier types of flower arrangement. These are never used as offerings or in any rituals. They are pure decorative and are usually hung at the window or from the ceiling.

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1 comment:

  1. The base of the prong is attached to the container with adhesive clay and the floral foam is pressed down onto the prongs.
    Florist’s cone, piggy bouquet

    ReplyDelete