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thai cremation flowers

Sandallwood flowers used in Thai cremation ceremonies

Sandalwood flowers cremation The Thai king King Bhumibol Adulyadej was cremated last month (October 2017) and he has two cremation ceremonies, the first cremation is ceremonial and not actual, in the first ceremony they burnt ashes of sandalwood flowers.

When I first saw this I was slightly confused, I thought they were referring to flowers of the sandalwood tree and I thought wouldn’t there be any ashes left, then I looked them up and they are tiny. It transpires I was entirely wrong, sandalwood flowers are symbolically flowers made from wood of the sandalwood tree.

These sandalwood flowers have been used in cremation ceremonies in Thailand for hundreds of years.

The belief is that the beautiful fragrance of the wood will lead the souls of the deceased to heaven.

For the ceremony seven designs were chosen and these each have a symbolic meaning.

There are seven types of sandalwood flowers for this ceremony, each type with a special meaning:
1. Dararat (daffodil), was and was the old king’s favourite, the Dararat is commonly offered to a loved one, as it signifies honor, bravery, and hope.
2. The Rose this rose represents true love, as well as the loyalty.
3. Dok phuttan (The Cotton Rose) represents stability and fertility. This flower may turn three colours on the same day, representing the cycle of life;
4. The white lily which is symbolic honesty and loyalty.
5. The orchid stands for stability, love, and grace.
6. Chabathip is a newly created flower representing demise and divinity.
7. Chabanu represents the heartfelt condolences of the people from all walks of life.

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