Mother or Mæ̀, may be different ways to say it, but they both mean the same thing. Someone who gives unconditional love, is a constant source of kindness, and is always there for you.
Last Friday, the 12th of August was Mother’s day in Thailand. This date is chosen to commemorate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Mother of all Thai people.
Like many important occasions, alms giving to monks forms a meaningful part of the traditional Mother’s Day celebrations. Early in the morning, ceremonies are held to give offerings of food to Thailand’s saffron-robed Buddhist monks.
Traditions are similar here to at home. During the day, people spend time with their mothers, go out for lunch and buy them a gift to show thanks for being such a great mom! On this day there is a high level of respect for mothers and people show lots of love and gratitude towards them. The traditional Mother’s Day gift in Thailand is jasmine. This delicate white flower is imbued with a sweet perfumed fragrance. Called “dok mali”, jasmine is used in worship and is also seen as symbol of purity, gentleness and motherhood.
In the evening they show respect towards the Queen and celebrate her birthday. People gather in the centre of towns and cities across Thailand and light candles and sing songs for the queen. In Chiang Mai there was even stunning fireworks that blew the night sky alight with bursting colours. During the week, people put up the royal flags and portraits of the Queen rise all over Thailand.
At the wildflower home, we prepared bunches of flowers that were bought from the beautiful flower market in Chiang Mai which is full of flowers I have never seen before. All different shapes, sizes and every colour imaginable. We handed these flowers to the young boys to give to their moms. They all ran into the room where the mothers were having their morning meeting and the room was filled with laughter and happiness. Each boy fell into his moms arms smiling, which was returned with kisses on cheeks.