It's a cool grey morning.
Cool is around 80 degrees and compared with the humidity of Bangkok it's quite a relief. Keith And I have been dressed in our Good clothes since 4.30. am. when our driver picked us up from the hotel.
We drove through the darkness of the city of Chiangmai, and past the remnants of the evenings entertainment. Some ladies were still waiting to entertain as they lounged on the chairs outside the bar.
We were invited to the wedding of a relative of a friend who insists that we need to see an "up north wedding" so we drove through the mist of early dawn over high mountains and a time span of 3 hours.
As I write we've been here for an hour and a half and there is only now a sign of movement in the wedding camp. We could have left an hour later…. Still it was an interesting experience watching the world wake up in this part of the country.
It's green mountainous, lush and smells oh, so sweet.
The wedding was scheduled to begin around 8.15 am. but in reality, the participants arrived around 9.00 am.
I photographed the preparations, this string is for after the wedding when each person attending ties a string that can't be broken on the wrist of the bride and groom… A nice touch I think.
Textile No 1.
Textile No 2.
Our first introduction to the food of the day was a tea party. Cup cakes rule here in Thailand, the craze has spread wide and far since cupcakes war began on reality TV.
Our host grows his own coffee and serves it iced or hot….. it was just delicious…. he also makes a mean banana cake and high calorie desert banana, chocolate and cream to accompany the cup cakes. !!!!!!
Textile No 3.
Textile No 4.
The Buddha taught the first monks and nuns to make their robes of "pure" cloth, which meant cloth that no one wanted. Types of pure cloth included cloth that had been chewed by rats or oxen, scorched by fire, soiled by childbirth or used as a shroud to wrap the dead before cremation. Monks would scavenge cloth from rubbish heaps and cremation grounds.
Any part of the cloth that was unusable was trimmed away, and the cloth was washed. It was dyed by being boiled with vegetable matter — tubers, bark, flowers, leaves — and spices such as turmeric or saffron, which gave the cloth a yellow-orange color. This is the origin of the term "saffron robe." Theravada monks of southeast Asia today still wear spice-color robes, in shades of curry, cumin and paprika as well as blazing saffron orange.
The Monks yesterday were in Saffron. What a lovely way to describe the color.
The fan is used to cover the monk's face as he delivers addresses the devotees at the temple. Originally, monks' fans, called talapatr in Thai, were simpler affairs made from palm leaves, and had short handles. There are a number of theories as to their origin, one of the more practical—if not particularly delicate—being that they were for shielding the monk from the smell of putrefaction. The stench was due to the ancient custom of making monastic robes from the shroud in which a corpse has been wrapped—a symbolic act of forswearing of comfort; the monk would have to remove the cloth, using a small palm fan to cover his nose.
Fans are now given as offerings and began as interwoven bamboo or feathers, but as the greater beauty of the item would affect the degree of merit, there was continuous improvement. Carved ivory might be used, or satin, or silk, enhanced by embellishment and even gems, according to the means and devotion of the individual seeking merit. The ordinary palm-leaf fans waned in use as they appeared less and less fitting.
The monks yesterday had beautifully embroidered fans.
They were given gifts for their attendance and performing the wedding ceremony. Food was presented in these amazing containers…
I bought small ones when I first came to Thailand and I used them constantly…but I would love one of these large ones. I know my girls would too.
I've not added photos of the wedding for obvious reasons…but I have some beautiful images.
Finally I could change into shorts and T's and we took off for a temple high in the mountains that our host suggested we look at.
The countryside is beautiful but I will write that up tonight.
I'm looking at Textiles today…. antique textiles.