Baba Wedding In Phuket Town

Once a year, couples from Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, and China come to Phuket Town to get married. All on the same day. At the same time. It is the annual Baba (Peranakan) Wedding in Old Town Phuket.

“Baba” refers to Chinese immigrants who migrated to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand during the 19th century. Here in Phuket many came to work in the tin mines.  A Baba wedding during that time was a way to show the wealth and social standing of ones family. It was regarded as one of the most important ceremonies in a person’s life.

This tradition lives on during the Baba wedding weekend here in Phuket. Brides and Grooms, along with their families and friends, came to Phuket Old Town this past weekend to perform the ceremonies and procession that make up their marital beginnings.

The feeling in the air was excitement and respect as we waited on Thalang road for the wedding procession to begin. I had a difficult time finding any good information about the event (in English at least) but for a little bit of the history of the event, check out Jamie’s Phuket Blog post about it.  We waited on the side of the road as the procession began… I wanted to show you what we saw, so I am going to share my pictures of the wedding procession in order.

First some people walked by handing out bags of dried flowers (to throw at the bride and groom). Z models it for us in this picture.
First some people walked by handing out bags of dried flowers (to throw at the bride and groom). Z models it for us in this picture.
Z and my mom waiting patiently for the procession to begin!
Z and my mom waiting patiently for the procession to begin!
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And it starts! Woo Hoo!

 

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A marching band
A marching band
Flag wavers... what is the proper term for this?
Flag wavers… what is the proper term for this?
First giving honor to the King (or at least I think that was what was happening).
Giving honor to the King (or at least I think that was what was happening).
Little Baba's
Little Baba’s
One of the couples (groom in white, bride in blue).
One of the couples (groom in white, bride in blue).
Finally able to throw some flowers!
Finally able to throw some flowers!

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This lady looks really familiar to me, but cannot place her... anyone know who she is? Leave it in the comments! :)
This lady looks really familiar to me, but I cannot place her… she seems to be a big part of the procession…anyone know who she is? Leave it in the comments! 🙂
Then these cute couples on bicycles.
Then these cute couples on bicycles.
For the finale, three VW bugs that were beautifully restored drove past. VW bugs and vans are really popular here.
For the finale, three VW bugs that were beautifully restored drove past. VW bugs and vans are really popular here.

Now it’s your turn! Would you get married at a mass wedding? If you aren’t married yet, want to come to Phuket next year and get married here with tons of other people? Leave a comment and join in the fun!

  14 comments for “Baba Wedding In Phuket Town

  1. benay
    June 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Great Post Jen. Thanks for sharing these less commonly known, authentic Thai experiences!

    • andthreetogo
      June 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks Benay! Miss you 🙂

  2. Jhanis
    June 26, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Fun! I know we have mass weddings over here but I have never witnessed one! It’s usually sponsored by the government or a non-government unit for the benefit of those who can’t afford to spend for their wedding. 🙂
    Jhanis recently posted…Microsoft Surface 3 GiveawayMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      June 26, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      That is really cool. This wedding costs 39000 baht (about $1030 US dollars) for everything from clothing to food as far as I can tell. 🙂

  3. Jamie
    June 26, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks for the mention! I had no time to see the event this year, we were out exploring in Phang Nga last Sunday. The lady that you may have seen before, she is the mayor of Phuket City, her name is Somjai Suwansupana.

    Cheers!
    Jamie.
    Jamie recently posted…Lucky 13 Sandwich near Rawai BeachMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      June 26, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Aw thanks Jamie! I know I have seen her picture numerous times but couldn’t place her… Will be updating my post now. 🙂

  4. joylovestravel
    June 27, 2015 at 1:14 am

    Don’t think a mass wedding would be my thing but I’d love to watch one – this looks incredible, right up my street!!
    joylovestravel recently posted…Around BrusselsMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      June 27, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      It’s an annual event Joy… Come for a visit next year? 🙂

  5. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    June 27, 2015 at 3:12 am

    What a fascinating cultural event! My daughters would love to see this! What did your mom think? She and you seem to resemble each other?! ~~Terri
    thehomeschoolingdoctor recently posted…Tiger Nut “Cereal”My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      June 27, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Haha… Do you think? Yep, we get that a lot and now that I’m older I understand what an awesome compliment it is. 🙂
      My mom loved it, though I think that honestly she would love anything with Zoë 🙂

  6. Sha
    June 27, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Didn’t realise that they celebrate the Peranakan tradition there in Thailand, I thought it was more of Singapore and Malaysia culture because it’s a mix of Chinese and Malay culture…interesting to know that they have wedding processions in the open…we don’t even do that here..haha…:)
    Sha recently posted…What I Learnt from My Solo Trip to PerthMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      June 27, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      I thought I had read somewhere that they do this is Singapore as well… How does it work there?
      And as far as bring outside, The poor people looked so hot in their beautiful outfits 😉 I would have melted for sure!

      • Sha
        June 30, 2015 at 4:16 am

        I don’t think they have such parades here, they tend to celebrate more privately nowadays..haha..and I agree about the clothes…traditional wedding clothes are definitely not meant to be comfortable in the heat! Haha..
        Sha recently posted…What I Learnt from My Solo Trip to PerthMy Profile

        • andthreetogo
          June 30, 2015 at 9:24 pm

          That’s so interesting… So is it one day a year or is it just a thing whenever a peranaken (I may have spelled that incorrectly) gets married?

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