The Thai housewarming ceremony, known as “Khuan Ban Mai” in Thai, is a traditional practice in Thailand. It translates to mean “going up into the new house”. This is significant because in the past, most Thai houses were built on tall stilts as a way to protect themselves from possible flooding during the rainy season. The ceremony itself is performed when people move into a new home, usually with the presence of monks involved to perform Buddhist rites that bring blessings, good luck, and protection to the new residence and its inhabitants.
What is the Thai Housewarming Ceremony?
Reflecting the importance of family, community, and spirituality in Thai culture, the Thai housewarming ceremony is a way to mark the beginning of a new chapter in a person’s life. The time-honored practice is done to seek blessings and good fortune for the future. While there can be variations and regional customs on how it’s carried out, the core elements of the ceremony remain consistent.
Prior to the ceremony, it is customary that the homeowner or family will seek counsel from monks or their seniors to determine which is the best day to host the ceremony. The ideal day of the week it can be held will be dependent on the time of the year. Then it is usual that host decorates the house with banana leaves, flowers, and other decorative items in preparation for the ceremony. They also prepare offerings and symbolic items.
Monks play a pivotal role in the ceremony as they carry out the ritual that grants the home blessings. The homeowner will normally invite an odd number of monks to their home to perform the ceremony because in Thai culture, odd numbers are considered lucky numbers. Once the monks provide blessings and prayers for the family, the hosts can proceed to pay homage to the ancestors.
As part of the ceremony, monks will also sprinkle holy water on the host and guests and throughout the new house. Then one of the most distinctive rituals within the ceremony follows, which is the tying of the white strings, otherwise known as “sai sin” in Thai. The white strings are blessed by the monks then fastened around the wrists of the family members, believing them to bring protection and good fortune. They are often only worn for a specific period, and when it is time for them to be removed, it is customary to place the strings on a sacred tree or be released into a river to symbolize the casting away of bad luck.
Feasting and Celebrations
After the religious and symbolic rituals, there is often a festive meal of traditional Thai foods and celebration with family and the invited friends in attendance. This will be the time for socializing and expressing good wishes to the new homeowners, and also the ideal period to present your housewarming gifts to them.
Housewarming Gift Ideas
If you’ve been invited to a Thai housewarming ceremony and are contemplating the perfect gift for your friend’s new home, we offer a range of thoughtfully handcrafted furniture pieces designed to effortlessly complement any living space. Made using locally sourced materials and innovative techniques, pieces from Corner43 are a harmonious fusion between the old and new that highlight the best of Thai heritage and craftsmanship expertise.
The Pannarin Mirror is our first choice for any housewarming present. Its shape and detailing, all made from natural rattan, is an undeniable expression of the immense talent and skill that our artisans hold. Fashioned like a bloomed flower, it can be easily pictured as the centerpiece to any home’s entrance hall.
Fantail wall décor
Our Fantail wall décor is meticulously handcrafted from natural rattan. A favored material by our craftsmen, rattan not only ensures a design’s durability but also imparts a rustic and earthy charm to your home. Depicting three fishes swimming in a circle, our Fantail wall décor is a testament to the expert workmanship of our skilled artists whose talented hands have transformed humble materials into masterpieces time and again.
Award winning Celestial Hanging Lamp
The recent winner of the IP Champion Award in 2023, the Celestial Hanging Lamp is a beautiful work of art made with natural rattan. It comes with an E27 socket and 2-meter cord. Whimsical in design, it is reminiscent of a divine presence, wading in the cosmos. The lamp is a distinctive addition to any home yet blends in perfectly with its natural rattan material.
Simple and stunning in design, the Maya mirror is the ideal choice for a thoughtful present. A tall-curved shape, it is an elegant piece that can captivate eyes in any home. While it’s understated in its appearance, a closer look reveals the skillful expertise required to frame natural rattan so beautifully around a crystal-clear mirror.