Gifts for a Thai Housewarming

Thailand image by askaja from

The Thai housewarming ceremony, called Keun Ban Mai, is a traditional Buddhist ritual where monks, friends and family members attend to bless and bring warm wishes to a new home. An auspicious time to move in is chosen (Sundays are good, but Saturdays are typically unlucky) and the larger pieces of furniture are brought in before the family moves in. Certain items are considered essential for a family to carry with them upon entering their new home, and each makes an excellent housewarming gift for a traditional Thai family.

Buddha Images

Upon moving into a new home, traditional Thai families take great care to set up their personal Buddha images. Statues and images of Buddha are placed in what will be their permanent positions in the new home, and they must always face either north or south. This makes a new picture or statue of Buddha an excellent housewarming gift to give a Thai family.

Food and Drink

It is customary in Thailand for the housewife to immediately prepare a meal upon entering her home for the first time, as it is seen as formally "moving in." Gifts of food and drink to supplement the meal will be well-received gift items at a Thai housewarming. Thai housewarmings are typically informal, so you serve yourself. Thai dishes such as tom kah (a coconut milk soup), lahb gai (a spicy chicken salad), pad thai (a delicious mix of noodles, vegetables and meat, if desired) or kow neow (a Thai "sticky rice" dessert) would be perfect gifts to give.


Cash is carried by the head of traditional Thai families into their new home to ensure the future prosperity of every member of the household. This makes cash or a gift card a great housewarming gift to give a Thai family at their Keun Ban Mai, as it symbolises that you are not only wishing them to have great fortune now, but in the years to come as well.

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