This isn’t a post about fashion.
My fashion sense consists of three questions, how comfortable is it, how much will it make me sweat and how would this look on Harrison Ford? Three questions that have stood me in good stead when picking clothes but hardly the skills required for a blog about fashion (I know my limitations).
But when it comes to tree fashion I am now an expert.
What I don’t know about the lastest trends on rooted timber isn’t worth knowing.
I havent acquired this skill by going to fashion college, nor have I become an aborist (check it out, it’s a posh word for ‘Tree Surgeon’)
Quite simply I know all about what trees are wearing this season because I have found the best dressed tree in Bangkok…maybe in all of Thailand…and who knows, maybe in the whole world.
Underneath the kaleidoscope of colour is a tree…a very big and very old tree and the reason for its snazzy attire has everything to do with its size and its age.
The tree you can see…well, that you can almost see, is a Hopea Ordorata or Ta-Khian and according to Thai folklore they are said to be a very sacred tree. The Hopea tree is believed to contain a female spirit called Nang Ta-Khian and she manifests wearing traditional Thai attire, hence the array of female clothing. Let’s be honest, if I had to spend eternity living inside a tree I’d want a bit of luxury now and again. I wouldn’t necessarily pick dresses as my luxury as I much prefer Oreo biscuits and good WiFi, but each to their own.
Any trees where a spirit is deemed to reside become an object of pilgrimage and the clothes are an offering to the female spirit.
The offerings are given in the hope that the spirit will bestow good luck, so this tree must be considered very lucky to be covered in so many dresses like this. In recent times the Nang Ta-Khian and all her finery are believed to be particularly good at endowing luck when it comes to lottery numbers, so I can only image that someone who made the pilgrimage to this tree then promptly hit the jackpot!
But it’s not just dresses that this tree is given in the hope of spreading good luck, drinks are served around the clock just in case Nang Ta-Khian gets a bit parched. Again, let’s be honest, if you had to live in a tree you’d probably have slightly dry lips and what better way to quench your thirst than a nice bottle of fizzy red pop.
This tree, that I pass maybe two or three times a week, sits on the corner of a busy street in Bangkok and I love the fact that this is a normal sight in Thailand. I may not believe in the reason for Thai people doing this but who isn’t going to love seeing a tree this colourful on a busy main road?
But wait, that is not all! As you make your way past the tree something else comes into view…the tree is almost hollow and inside is yet more clothes, drinks, snacks and an altar…!
Someone did really well from this tree…what dress sixe is this tree and where do I purchase a lottery ticket?!