Taking Time to Smell the Flowers

2/24/2013
When I'm in Bangkok I try to find a spare hour to wonder around the flower market.  It's about 5 blocks long and 2 blocks wide of shops and street vendors selling only flowers.  Surrounded by millions of blossoms; being in the middle of it is almost fairy tale-like. When I was there a few days ago it was late afternoon and the flowers were arriving by the truck-load for the evening market.  Truck after truck full of flowers.  Petite roses to orchids, to lotus, to long stem roses that standing came up to my chest. 
Bangkok, by global terms, is not a really dirty city but compared to Canada it definitely has a grungy factor.  It's not uncommon to be hit with a waft of urine that almost makes your eyes water when you step over a sewer grate. (Even the locals are seen covering their nose with their shirt sleeve.)  Walking through the flower market you're transported to a magical place of beautiful colours and scents. 
Roses, Roses, and more Roses...
 
 
Many of these flowers are destined for hotels, restaurants and spas as decor.  You'll often get an orchid (that at home is so extravagant)  as a garnish on your cocktail. If I lived here, I'd have fresh blooms in my home all the time (you wouldn't believe how cheap it is!)

In Thailand, flowers are more than just beauty and aroma. They represent a part of the Buddhist culture. Everyday thousands of blooms will be given as offerings at temples.  Many will also be used to show respect for ancestors long gone. 
This woman is weaving flowers into an offering wreath. 
These will be taken to temples as offerings. They will also be hung (with a prayer for safety, good sales, etc) on car mirrors, boats and shop entrances.
Many of are made with jasmine flowers and the scent is truly heavenly.
 
Picture
 
Lotus flowers are also often given as offerings at the temples. 
In Buddhism the lotus flower is associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean.



The lotus flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean.

Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment