It was an action filled week in Chiang Mai with Chinese
New Year and Valentine’s Day so close together.
Valentine’s Day, synonymous with romance, has become a
natural choice for weddings. However, for some it is not enough to just
marry on Valentines Day, there had to be some excitement added. This was a
huge wedding ceremony, drawing the attention of almost 1000 tourists and was
promoted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and various tour operators.
girl Panida Anansuwanchai and Andreas Dietrichs from Germany. Before
returning to Germany, the couple plans to stay in Lampang for one year.
(Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)
In Lampang, three couples (Thai, Thai-American and
Thai-German) were married on the back of elephants at the Thai Elephant
Conservation Center, Hangchat District. In addition, four more couples
renewed their wedding vows.
The grooms were in traditional Thai Northern costumes
while riding on elephants during the marriage ceremonies while the bride
followed behind. It was traditional and unique for the participants, the
newlyweds, and their families. It included a Khan Maak procession, the
traditional tray of gifts presented by the groom to the bride’s parents, a
Shoo Khoe ceremony, the bride begging ceremony, various dance shows, the Bai
Sri Shoo Khan wrist-tying ceremony, everything was included. A fun event,
but unforgettable for the newlyweds.
parents came from Germany to witness this unique occasion. (Photo by Saksit
One of the couples, Peeraphan Thanyapalit and Roongrit
Chinnabutr, when asked why they made the decision to marry on elephants
said, “We are both alumni of Chiang Mai University where we also fell in
love. And the CMU logo is an elephant. When we first heard about the
possibility of getting married on elephants, we saw this as a twist of fate.
And here we are today,” the smiling bride added.
Another no less spectacular wedding took place in the
early hours of Monday morning, when seven couples promised to each other to
stay together in good days and in bad days, in a hot air balloons just
But it was not only romance and weddings on February 14th, it was also a
day for friends to get together and enjoy each others company, a day when
the flower shops in and around the city could not handle the amount of
customers, and the cafes and restaurants which were decorated with hearts,
roses, and cupids did not have a single empty seat.
and Piroj Kanthasen renewed their vows on Valentines Day, in the presence of
their son. (Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)
Jean-Louis Galode and his bride Kanokorn, with Nai Amphoer in the hot air
balloon, proudly show off their marriage certificate. (Photo by Watcharapong
Vietnam veteran Barton Harold Wittekind leads the procession. (Photo by
brides’ mothers knot the holy ribbon around the wrists of the newly-weds.
(Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)
means of transportation - on the back of an elephant. (Photo by Saksit
proud grooms prepare to face their respective brides. (Photo by Saksit
beautifully decorated elephants were accompanied by traditionally dressed
“heralds” carrying flower bouquets. (Photo by Saksit Meesubkwang)
seven couples pose in front of hundreds of ‘orange’ balloons after they
had exchanged marriage vows in the sky. (Photo by Watcharapong Jingkaujai)