Thai Birthdays and Birthstones
In the West, some of us wear color according to our skin tone, the fashion or the season. Colors can be uplifting and flattering for us, but we do not necessarily attach any special belief to this. Some people may have a color or colors that they consider lucky or unlucky, but this is not the norm. In our home of Thailand, colors have a special significance. For example, black and white are typically worn to funerals and it is taboo to wear such somber colors to a party or wedding. Additionally, the red, white and blue of the Thai flag represent the nation, the religion and the monarchy, respectively.
According to traditional Thai beliefs, the day of the week on which you are born has special significance. Certain colors are assigned to each day of the week. This is thought to have stemmed from Hindu beliefs, but the Thai colors and associations may differ slightly. Additionally, personality traits are assigned to people depending on the day of their birth. Each weekday also has a corresponding Buddha posture and colors that are lucky or unlucky for the person born on that day. It is believed to be auspicious to wear the lucky color for the day that you were born on. For those who are not sure about which day they were born on, rather than asking your mother to try to remember, looking up your birth date on a perpetual calendar will help you to find out.
Here are the Thai colors for each day and a few characteristics that are believed to be attributed to those born on each day:
While the color for each day is set, the unlucky color for each day of birth and other characteristics such as how the colors should be worn may be subject to differences in opinion.
In accordance with the weekly color scheme, some old-fashioned Thai ladies used to have gemstone jewelry suites for each day of the week to match their outfit. For example, on Monday, yellow sapphire, diamond or pearl would be worn; Tuesday's suite may contain pink sapphire or tourmaline; Wednesday's jewelry may be comprised of emerald, green sapphire or green jade. For Thursday, cat's eye chrysoberyl, orange garnet or orange sapphire could be worn; on Friday blue sapphire would be worn; amethyst, violet spinel or purple sapphire would be reserved for Saturday; and ruby would be worn on Sunday.
In governmental institutions, it is usual for employees to dress in the color for each day. For example, teachers will often wear a yellow shirt on Mondays, pink on Tuesdays, green on Wednesdays, and so on. It is especially important to wear yellow on Mondays, since this is the day on which the current King of Thailand was born, so by wearing yellow, respect is being paid to the King. The King's flag is yellow, and this color is also worn on Father's Day, which is the King's birthday. Similarly, blue is worn on Friday and on Mother's Day, which is also the Queen's birthday, who was born on a Friday, thus her flag is blue.
While many Thais also follow the Chinese zodiac and mainstream birthstones, it is considered lucky to wear gems that correspond with the lucky color of the day of birth. Thus, some simply favor a gemstone that corresponds with the color of their birthday and wear it as their own special gem. For those planning to travel to Thailand, it can be useful to learn a little about these customs. While non-Thais are not expected to follow such traditions, it is interesting to be aware of how colors are used in certain cultures, and can enrich interactions with locals. Additionally, everyone likes to learn their own day of birth, and you never know; your day may provide you with a new favorite color.
- First Published: May-26-2016
- Last Updated: July-24-2017
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