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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Thailand, Lesson 25 – Valentine's Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Thailand Series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Thai holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25, Valentine's Day. In Thai, it’s called วันวาเลนไทน์ (wan waa-len-thaai).
In this lesson, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day, commonly known as a Day of Love, and which falls on February 14 each year. Though this important day didn’t originate in Thailand, Thai people acknowledge the importance of it because it represents love for each other, whether it is between a couple, friends, or family.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
According to a Thai wedding tradition, the groom must give something to the bride’s family before the wedding. What is it?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Because Valentine’s Day isn’t a public holiday, couples usually spend the evening together, going out for dinner in restaurants, or ร้านอาหาร (ráan aa-hăan). Most will go to shopping malls because there are many activities for couples as well as nice areas to take photos as a memory. After that, they may watch a late-night movie, or ภาพยนตร์ (phâap-phá-yon).
For Valentine’s Day, one thing that is essential for lovers is a special gift, or ของขวัญ (khǎawng-khwăn). In Thailand, it’s usually men who give gifts to women. In general, roses or chocolate are commonly used to represent one’s love. This is usually accompanied by a card to show what is on the giver’s mind. A person who wants to confess love to a woman also does it through a gift. Friends usually give a small gift to each other, such as flowers or a small piece of chocolate.
Many Thai couples choose Valentine’s Day as their wedding, or งานแต่งงาน(ngaan dtàeng-ngaan) and marriage registration day. Each year, more than 1,000 couples queue for marriage registration at Bang Rak district, because the name of the district means “district of love.” Another wedding event that is only held on this day is an underwater wedding in the sea in Trang province. Every year, many Thai and foreign couples flock to participate, it has been officially recorded as the most-attended underwater wedding event.
In Thailand, when a man buys roses for his loved one, the size of the bouquet isn’t as important as the number of flowers in it. This is because there’s a meaning behind the number of flowers. For example, nine roses mean “we are going to love each other forever” and twenty roses mean “I am sincere to you.”
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
According to a Thai wedding tradition, the groom must give something to the bride’s family before the wedding. What is it?
The dowry is the thing the groom gives to the family of the bride. It’s regarded as the price for their looking after the bride until that time. In general, a dowry is a certain sum of money, but the groom can sometimes provide things such as land or gold instead. The size of a dowry is often proportional with the groom’s wealth. Sometimes, the bride’s family won’t accept it and give it back to the couple as the fund to build their family.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How is Valentine’s Day celebrated in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next series!