Colleen Setchell

Lucky day colours

Did you know that in Thai culture, each day has a colour?


I taught at a private school in Hat Yai for nearly seven months and I loved every minute of it. One thing I noticed was that every day the Thai teachers wore different colour uniforms. I thought it seemed a little strange, but I dismissed it and decided I just needed to get used to a different country's school culture.

A few months later, I was talking with a few Thai teaching assistants and one of them mentioned something about each day being a different colour. We chatted briefly but I think something was lost in translation because I remember how I was trying to match the Thai word for Monday (Wan Chan) and the Thai word for yellow (Si-Looung) which was the colour associated with Monday and not seeing the connection so again dismissed it.

That was nearly a year ago. I now live on the island of Koh Samui. (Lucky me, I know.) My main job is a writer for the island's main publishing company but I still teach English part time. I did my TEFL course here on the island back in Aug 2012 and because I live on the island, I tend to sometimes meet the current group of students. A recent student was Thai (although he grew up in America) and he brought the topic up in a Facebook discussion.

He explained that the Thai people have a tradition in that they believe it brings good luck to wear certain colour clothing on certain days throughout the week. They take this tradition from an astrological rule (which has influence from Hindu mythology) that assigns a colour to each day of the week based on the colour of the god that actually protects that day.

If you've been to Thailand before, you'll notice that the colour of the flag of the King, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand, is yellow and that is because he was born on a Monday and the associated colour is yellow.

So here are the colours, names and other associations with each day.

The Thai week is a 7-day period and starts on a Sunday and ends on a Saturday. Days of the week are named after the first seven of nine Hindu astrological influences.

So now I know, and while I don't necessarily believe in these gods, it certainly makes great bonding opportunities with the locals, when you can show you are wearing the ‘lucky' colour of that day. So next time you get ready for work, check the colour table and make sure you wear the colour associated for that day and you might just ‘guarantee' good luck to come your way.


You are also most welcome to visit my personal blog 




Comments

It is hard to nail down these color associations, for example there are different colors associated with the different gods in what is supposed to be the Vedic source. However, one thing is for sure, the names of the days are names of the planets (plus moon, sun, and Rahu). Rahu is the one that is left off here, as it is the "Wednesday Afternoon" "planet". Actually, Rahu is a transient of a lunar or solar eclipse (the other transient is called Ketu). Rahu is a monster who wants to eat the sun (or the moon) and must be driven away. Wednesday afternoon color is gray, though devotional offerings to Phra Rahu (who is found in some Thai temples) are usually black in color. Rahu is also why you see eight Buddha figures for each of the weekdays (and two on Wednesday). In Thailand, Friday is "light blue" aka sii faa, rather than "dark blue:, aka sii namngun, the Thais don't have a generic word for "blue". Also, Saturn/Saturday is supposed to be sii dumm (the color black), but black is bad luck, associated with funerals, hence the purple.

By Jeff McNeill, Chiang Mai (19th November 2015)

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