Funerals are expensive no matter where you live. In Western countries it is usually customary to have a visitation one night and the actual funeral the next day. In most cases you will pay to have a funeral home take care of everything and you just have to be there.
Thai funerals last for 3 or more days and each of the days comes with a cost. By the end, funeral expenses can add up and if you’re not prepared for them, will be a nasty shock that you don’t need on top of everything else that is certainly going on in your life at such a time. This article will lay out some of the expenses you can expect for a Thai funeral.
Some of the costs are up to the host to decide. How much to spend on tables and chairs as well as food and drink. Will you order the food or cook it yourself? Other costs of a traditional Thai funeral are pretty standard. Below is a list if costs you can expect:
1. The casket – Depending on the type of casket and how fancy it is this can cost 1000 or more baht
2. Flowers- These will cost you 2000 or more baht
3. Incense and candles (Temple Service) – this will cost you 250 or more baht per day
4. Undertaker service – 300 or more baht per day
5. Monks Service – 300 or more baht per day (500 or more for prayer leader)
6. Pavilion – depending on the Temple you are looking at 800 or more baht per day
7. Ordination – In many families a son will be ordinated as monk, even for just a short while. The cost of doing so it up to the temples, but expect around 1000 baht
8. A picture of the deceased – 500 baht
9. In thai culture it is cusomary to give a memento to guests. This will likely cost around 2000 or more baht
10. Paper Flower – It is customary for guests to place a paper flower below the casket. These will run you roughly 500 baht
11. Food for the deaceased – Along with food for the guests, Thais will cook the favourite food of the deceased and offer it to them three times a day. This will be 50 or more baht.
12. Cremation – Once the funeral is over the body is cremated. This is one of the more expensive aspects of the funeral costs start at around 5000 baht
13. The rest – This list is not exhaustive. There will probably be other costs that aren’t mentioned here. Plan for an additional 10,000 or more baht to cover everything.
As you can see, funerals can be quite expensive and there is a lot of ceremony to think about. Funerals used to be held at the family home and at the outskirsts of the cities they still are, but within cities lifestyles have changed and most are now held at the temple. While some of the costs can be mitigated with the help of the villagers who will always lend a hand, it’s good to plan ahead whenever possible so that the event doesn’t add unneeded fiancial stress to an already sombre situation.