Date: February 10 - 12, 2012
Venue: Pak Meng Beach, Trang Province
The 16th Anniversary of Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony. The event will be held during 10-12 February 2012.
The inaugural Millennium Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony was held for the first time on Valentine's Day 2000. The event which attracted 30 participants from 28 countries set a new Guinness World Record and put Trang on the world map. Video footage of the underwater wedding extravaganza was seen on international TV networks as well as in print media.
Given its uniqueness and popularity, Trang’s underwater wedding ceremony has become an annual event.
Although it is named the underwater wedding ceremony, the promotion was designed to promote the various interesting aspects of the traditional Thai wedding ceremony and presents an opportunity for couples from around the world to personally experience the enchanting aspects of the Thai wedding and its time-honoured traditions such as the colourful 'khan maak' procession.
The ‘khan maak’ procession
The ‘khan maak’ procession is a ceremonial visit to the bride's parents to ask for their daughter's hand. The groom is accompanied by an entourage of relatives and close friends as he calls on the bride's parents to make offerings of betel nuts, arecas and dowry placed in a bowl or tray. Spirited processions are accompanied by folk dances and songs and enlivened by the exhilarating beat of a long drum troupe. All of these elements add to the visual spectacle of the ceremony.
As the bridegroom makes his way to pay his respects to the bride's parents, in traditional ceremonies, the bridegroom's entourage passes through 'silver' and 'golden gates' where he is quizzed by friends and relatives of the bride in a friendly banter of questions and answers. Once the offerings have been made to the bride's parents, respected elders and distinguished guests pour scented lustral water over the hands of the bride and groom's respectively in a blessing ceremony.
'Kin neow' ritual
Trang province will also be sharing another aspect of local culture and tradition with the couples. The traditional ‘kin neow’ rite performed on the eve of the wedding day will also be featured as part of the underwater wedding ceremony. It is an informal gathering of relatives and close friends of the bride and groom to celebrate the joyous occasion. The signature dish served during the evening’s meal is a chicken curry prepared with coconut cream and served with glutinous rice or ‘khao neow’, more popularly referred to as ‘sticky’ rice. The word ‘neow’ which means sticky is derived from the words ‘khao neow’ or glutinous rice and symbolizes a life-long bond that binds the couple together. The ‘kin nieow ritual also hints at a married life that is rich and spicy with varied tastes.
A blessing ceremony takes place at Pak Meng Beach. Respected elders and distinguished guests pour scented lustral water over the hands of the bride and groom's respectively and offer their good wishes.
To be eligible, couples, relatives and guests taking part in the event are required to be certified divers. Married couples who wish to renew their vows in an extraordinary but memorable fashion are also eligible.
The Trang Underwater Wedding Ceremony was originally launched by Thai Airways International as a novel concept to promote tourism to Trang in Southern Thailand.
Trang Chamber of Commerce, Bangkok Office
Tel: +66 (0) 2863 3288 (automatic) ext. 191, 263
Fax: +66 (0) 2437 8123
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Trang Office
199/2 Wisetkul Road, Amphoe Mueang, Trang 92000
Tel: +66 (0) 7521 5867-8
Fax: +66 (0) 7521 5868
More information: http://www.tatnews.org/