Ban Mai Cultural Experience

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Monk offering

The second day in Thailand I was able to experience a traditional Ban Mai celebration on the opening of my companys office in Bangkok. The Ban Mai is a 'new house blessing'. True to Thai tradition, we selected a luckly floor, 28th (or our local manager did hahaha). Jimmy and I arrived to the office to observe the monks ceremony. Nine monks were seated already chanting. The number of monks must be an odd number with nine being a very auspicious number. A room had been converted for the ceremony. One side of the room had a raised platform with the monks sitting facing east. Facing the platform was the seating area. Before entering the room shoes must be removed and left outside the door.

Amazing flowers
It was interesting to observe and hear the monks chanting and praying and performing the ceremony. At the end of that part of the Baan Mai, the monks were given food and they ate as a group in complete silence.

One monk blessed the office with lustral water which represents four elements earth, wind, fire and water. He flicked water as he passed through the office. I was messing with my camera as he passed me and I looked up just in time to catch a faceful of water. Hahahaha, I think we were both surprised, but he kept a straight face and moved on. When I looked at my shirt and sport coat I was surprised how good he got me. I was drenched.

After the water ceremony was complete the monk annointed the entry doors with white paste to bring good luck and block out evil.

Jimmy, Paca, Joe at Vertigo
Around the paste annointment, he put gold leaf to symbolize success. Maybe you can see it in the foto. I wish I knew more about the tradition, but nobody was able to tell me more about it other than it is 'good luck'. Before the monks left they were given another offering of food to take with them. It is important that the ceremony end at noon because the monks must leave at that time because they have responsibilities in the afternoon at the monastary.

I enjoy the Thai traditions because the Thai people go crazy with the preparations, gifts and food. They have a great enthusiasm for a good party, and they enjoy sharing the customs with foreigners.  As you can see in the pix, the food was good and they had tables of food everywhere. Most impressive were all the flowers.

Pier 59
The flowers were so impressive and the whole office smelled like one great fragrance. Everyone in Bangkok must have sent flowers: bankers, attorneys, consultants, vendors, landlord, etc.

For dinner we decided to go someplace cool because we now had the three guys together. We booked a table at Vertigo on top of the Banyan Tree hotel. The restro is rooftop at 61 floors up. It's an amazing place, but unfortunately, it was raining when we arrived and Vertigo was closed. Instead we ate at Pier 59 a couple floors down. Also a really cool place. Pier 59 has a 9 course dinner so you can try many things on meal. Fantastic! The rain eventually stopped and we went up to take some photo's after our dinner. Then we went down to the 52nd floor there is an outdoor terrace, but it is covered overhead from the rain. On the terrace is Latitude bar. The dance floor is glass over a pool. It's a chill place to hang out and the dj was ok. From here there is a great view of the city.


mellemel8 says:
have you seen a thai wedding? it's so cool :)
Posted on: Aug 12, 2008
jmaxiv says:
I agree, it is the best part of traveling - The people!!
Posted on: Aug 01, 2008
yadilitta says:
Wow! I'm so glad you could experience the Thai traditions. It's so nice being able to know different cultures.
Posted on: Aug 01, 2008
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Monk offering
Monk offering
Amazing flowers
Amazing flowers
Jimmy, Paca, Joe at Vertigo
Jimmy, Paca, Joe at Vertigo
Pier 59
Pier 59
28th Floor
28th Floor
Chanting
Chanting
Flower
Flower
Food - there were 12 tables like t…
Food - there were 12 tables like …
Reception
Reception
Water Ceremony
Water Ceremony
Monk Annointing Door
Monk Annointing Door
Annointment
Annointment
Annointing second door
Annointing second door
Guests
Guests
More Flowers
More Flowers
Flowers, ok Ill stop
Flowers, ok I'll stop
Bangkok from 61 floors up
Bangkok from 61 floors up
Bangkok under a cloud
Bangkok under a cloud
Vertigo all wet
Vertigo all wet
Paca at Vertigo
Paca at Vertigo
Vertigo Mural
Vertigo Mural
Pier 59 Entrance
Pier 59 Entrance
Latitude Lounge
Latitude Lounge
Latitude Jardin
Latitude Jardin
Latitude Bar
Latitude Bar
Latitude Art
Latitude Art
Bangkok
photo by: Deats