Did you know that in Thailand there’s a color for every day of the week? As you can imagine, this tradition is not as popular with young Thais, but many more traditional Thais still know the colors and when to wear them.
Days are marked by colors and are said to have hidden and secretive meanings. These colors still influences the daily lives of people, not because of belief alone, but because many Thais feel that color influences their perceptions and feelings.
Here’s what the colors represent from the historical and religious view:
Sunday = Red According to historical record, there is mystic belief that Phra Isuan, a high God in the Hindu faith, since the beginning of the universe , captured six lions and ground them into powder. He then wrapped the powder with red cloth and sprinkled Nam Amarit or holy water on to the powder and thus created the Sun.
Monday = Yellow is believed to be lucky for all occasions. According to Hindu mythology, Phra Isuan had captured 14 angles and used his infinite powers to turn them into powder. He then wrapped the powder in a yellow cloth and sprinkled holy water upon the powder creating the Moon.
Tuesday = Pink – Phra Isuan caught eight buffalo and used his magical powers to turn them into powder, which he wrapped with soft reddish cloth and sprinkled with holy water, thus creating the Planet of Saturn.
Wednesday = Green is worn on Wednesday because it is said that Phra Isuan rounded up 17 mystic elephants and turned them into powder which he wrapped with a green leaf. After sprinkling holy water he created the planet of Pluto.
Thursday = Orange 19 hermits were powdered by Phra Isuan and wrapped in a reddish orange cloth, thus creating the Planet of Mars
Friday = Blue on this day, Phra Isuan used his powers to turn 21 bullocks into powder, wrapped them with a blue cloth and sprinkled holy water to create the planet Venus
Saturday = Purple on Saturday Phra Isuan caught 10 tigers sprinkled powder on them, wrapped them in a purple cloth and created the planet Saturn
On Monday’s you’ll notice many people wearing yellow – except during protests and then they’ll wear pink or another color. (I’ll explain that later.) The day of the week a person was born is very significant in Thai culture, historically, and each day has a lucky color.
The King was born on a Monday, and therefore the Kings flag contains yellow. In recent years the political protests have thrown a kink into the color schemes. Since the anti-government groups have taken the color of red, the “red shirts” and the pro-government groups have taken the color of yellow, the “yellow shirts”, the King decided to wear pink at a recent coronation.
In fact, there are some who say that the Kings lucky color actually is pink, not yellow. You see, the King was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and while his date of birth in the US fell on a Monday, it was actually already Tuesday in Thailand. So, wear yellow on Monday’s, unless there’s a protest, and then wear pink.
So when in Thailand, wear your colors carefully – or you might be turned into powder (just kidding of course). From a business perspective, it’s very appreciated when doing in business in Thailand that you appreciate and recognize their culture. If you have business meetings on a Monday, consider wearing some yellow.