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.
Are you wearing yellow today?
*As published on Ajarn on 13 January 2014.