The 3rd Baba Wedding 2011 ceremony in the ‘Baba Peranakan’ tradition will be held in Phuket City from Friday 10th – Saturday 11th June 2011. Packages for couples to marry during the festival cost 50,000 Baht, including a one-night stay at the Phuket Merlin Hotel on the 10th; the wedding ceremony; wedding attire; and a “honeymoon stay” on the 11th at a beach resort. About 10 to 15 couples are expected to participate.
The Baba term is used for descendants of the earliest Hokkien Chinese immigrants in Phuket. The traditional Baba Wedding ceremony is rare to see nowadays. Phuket adapted this culture from Penang and Malaysia and combined it into Thai traditions. The two-day event sees couples dressed in the style and manner of 19th century Chinese traders and well-to-do local Thai maidens.
The ceremony begins from the groom’s family. In the morning, the groom’s family perform a ceremony to pay respect to God and sacred items, indicating that the auspicious ceremony is about to take place. The groom makes a journey to see the bride at an auspicious time. The grand procession is warmly accompanied by family and friends of the groom. The bride anxiously waits at her bridal chamber.
The groom must go through the silver and gold barrier before he is allowed to meet his bride. After that the couple perform a tea ceremony or Phang Teh, offering tea to parents and senior relatives. The senior family members then give wishes and give out gifts for the couple to build up their own family.
The Phuket Chinese Baba couple are in their glamorous costumes. The groom puts on a western suit influenced through Chinese migrants. The Baba Chinese bride Nyonya costume consists of a beautiful embroidered blouse with standing collar, worn with Pateh sarong. The calflength gown is worn on top. The brides hair is styled in a high bun and decorated with handmade flower. Turtle shaped chest brooch is put on. The bride also wears several necklaces.
According to Phuket custom, the new couple go to pay respect and seek blessings from Chinese shrines such as the Pud Jo shrine. The couple then return to the grooms residence to perform a ceremony to worship god, spirit & ancestors to inform that they have married. In the evening, celebrations, mostly in western style, take place.
For more information contact: Thai Peranakan Association President, Dr Kosol Tang-Uthai, Tel: +66 (0) 8 1892 7014.
Information source: TAT