Thais flock to shrine of love ahead of Valentine’s Day

Hundreds of single Thais attended a ceremony this week at a Hindu shrine in Bangkok to make offerings as they prayed to find that special someone, just days ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Tucked beside one of the capital’s biggest shopping malls, the Trimurti shrine to Hinduism’s three most powerful gods has become famous in Thailand as a place people visit every Thursday in the quest to find love.But this week’s crowd, mainly young people of all genders, was larger than usual as the timing also coincided with an auspicious alignment of the stars.

“I came here often and got a lover before, but we broke up, so I’m here to ask for a new one,” said Thanyathron Sae-aeng, 23.

The ceremony began with a blast of sound from a conch shell by a Brahmin priest at 7.39 p.m. (1139 GMT), a timing also considered auspicious.

“I want to meet a person who is good, kind and (find) a love that’s long-lasting,” said Apimuk Wichasorn, 29, stressing that any relationship should also be fun and free of pressure.

Many in the crowd wearing face masks held offerings of roses, candles, incense sticks and soda bottles, all in hues of red.

“It will be great if I can find love before Valentine’s Day, but if not, it’s also fine,” said 25-year-old Suthida Panlalak, who said she sought a truthful partner who could love her the way she is.