We’ve had a couple of big birthdays in the Thai Terre team recently (no, we’re not going to admit how big) and it’s got us thinking about how birthdays are celebrated differently in Thailand to the UK.
For example, in Thailand people wouldn’t traditionally buy one another birthday gifts (though Western influence means this is becoming more common); instead, for a child’s birthday parents will pay tribute to the gods by purchasing birds, fish or turtles to the same number as the child’s age, plus one extra to bring luck in the coming year. The child will sprinkle the tribute with blessed water before setting them free in the air or water.
Among adults, when Thai people do give gifts it is usually the birthday girl or boy who gives away small presents, or pays for a party and drinks for all their friends and family. Again, though, Western customs are becoming more widely accepted in Thailand and if you do buy a gift for a Thai friend they are likely to be pleased, though you shouldn’t use black, blue or green paper as these are mourning colours. Don’t be disappointed if your friend doesn’t open it in front of you, as they are likely to save it for a private moment. However, if a Thai friend gives you a gift, try not to rip the paper as this is considered rude – instead, unwrap the gift carefully and keep the paper.
If you are looking for the perfect venue to celebrate a birthday, what better way to celebrate could there be than with good food and companionship, in the best Thai tradition. The first floor of Thai Terre can be reserved for groups of up to 20, while for larger groups the entire restaurant can be exclusively booked for up to 45 people. And don’t forget it’s traditional for the person celebrating to buy drinks for those around them – mine’s a gin and tonic; thanks very much!