Many couples think of their wedding day as the start of a new life together but these Thai newlyweds seem to have taken the idea more seriously than most – lying in a coffin as they said their vows
The wedding ritual, conducted by monks, allows couples to rid themselves of bad luck by being ‘brought back to life’ and is believed to bring true love, prosperity, and protection from harm.
Ten couples took part in the unusual mass ceremony at a temple on the outskirts of Bangkok on Valentine’s Day (14 Feb).
Participants made offerings to the monks before taking their places side-by-side in the large pink coffin – floral bouquets held to their chests.
The monks then draped a large white sheet across them – representing their death – and performed chants usually reserved for funerals. The prayers ended with blessings for a new life.
When the sheet is removed from the coffin, it signals the start of a life free from bad luck, abbot Phra Kru Samu Sa-ngob Kittkayo.
It also could serve as a reminder for couples to live with the reality that nothing lasts forever – a key component of the Buddhist philosophy.
The temple held the event for the first time last year when Valentine’s Day fell on Makha Bucha Day – a Buddhist holiday – giving couples the chance to marry as part of a religious ceremony.
The abbot said he originally had no plan to repeat the event, but that a number of brides and grooms had contacted the temple asking for their marriages to be blessed.
Among the couples at the temple were two women, Pichaya Thaenphim and Pattaranaya Kamploy, who have been together for more than three years.
They said the temple had agreed to include them in the ceremony even though homosexual marriage remains illegal in Thailand.