Colourful Days in The Land of Smiles

Thailands red shirts
Thailand's red shirts | © Takeaway / WikiCommons
Kyle Hulme

Days of the week and holidays affect the contents of your wardrobe in Thailand, with each day having its own auspicious and unlucky colour. Why? Find out below.

Wearing the right colour

Noticing trends like a crowd of people all seeming to wear one colour isn’t a happy accident; it’s something that’s been common practice in Thailand for a long time. Whilst it’s not as common as it once was, people still take great efforts to follow the rules — after all, Thailand is a very superstitious country.

The colours to wear on each day are the following:

Sunday – Red
Monday – Yellow
Tuesday – Pink
Wednesday – Green
Thursday – Orange
Friday – Light blue
Saturday – Purple

Whilst these are the colours you’ll want to avoid each day:

Sunday – Blue
Monday – Red
Tuesday – Yellow and white
Wednesday – Pink
Thursday – Purple
Friday – Black and dark blue
Saturday – Green

The colour yellow is associated with the monarchy and political groups.

Whilst muted colours and monochrome lookbooks might be popular in the West, it seems Thailand didn’t get the memo. It can be difficult planning outfits for the week, and you might need to buy a few pieces to complete your ensemble, but hey — any excuse to go shopping, right?

Gift from the gods

Thailand’s Phanom Rung was a Hindu temple

The decision to wear certain colours on specific days wasn’t something done for fun. Despite Thailand being overwhelmingly Buddhist, Hinduism still has a prominent place in certain aspects of its culture, and one aspect is the colours of the day. Each colour is chosen because of its relation to the god who protects that day; for example, Sunday’s colour of red comes from the Hindu god Surya, who is the god of that day and whose colour is red. The day of your birth is a big deal to Thai people, and is said to affect relationships with other people. This day even dictates which days you can have a cremation after death. Likewise, the colour associated with the day Thais are born is held as their lucky colour.

Other colourful messages

King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit have their own colours

Clothing in Thailand is also used to promote messages and show respect to the royal family. Thailand’s beloved former King Bhumibol and his son, reigning monarch Maha Vajiralongkorn, were both born on a Monday, so it’s common to wear yellow on their birthdays and on Father’s Day. Likewise, Queen Sirikit was born on a Friday, so it’s popular to see crowds wearing blue on her birthday and on Mother’s Day.

Thailand’s red shirts

Colours can also contain political messages, too. Thailand’s anti-monarchist, anti-former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra group United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship is commonly known as the red shirts, whilst the pro-monarchy People’s Alliance for Democracy is known as the yellow shirts. The two groups have clashed, both with one another and with the authorities, and hold differing views on former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the monarchy and the military government which seized power after a coup.

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