Purple! And Sunday is Red. In Thai culture, each day of the week is associated with a color. Here’s a breakdown of each day and their color:
วันอาทิตย์ (wan ah-tit): Sunday – สีแดง (see daang): Red
วันจันทร์ (wan jan): Monday – สีเหลือง (see leuang): Yellow
วันอังคาร (wan ang-khan): สีชมพู (see champoo): Tuesday – Pink
วันพุธ (wan poot): Wednesday – สีเขียว (see kiaw): Green
วันพฤหัสบดี (wan pa-ru-hat): Thursday -สีส้ม(see som): Orange
วันศุกร์ (wan suk): Friday – สีฟ้า (see fah): Sky Blue
วันเสาร์ (wan sao): Saturday – สีม่วง (see muang): Purple
Each day of the week begins with วัน (wan) which means “day.” If you want to say today, you would add the word for “this.” So it’s วันนี้ (wan nee). Sunday and Monday have similar etymology to the English names of these days. พระอาทิตย์ (phra ah-tit) means “sun “and พระจันทร์ (phra jan) means “moon.” พระ- is a prefix for divine or sacred things in Thai. You can use it to refer to a Buddhist monk.
Similar to how each day starts with วัน (wan), each color starts with สี (see) which means “color.” If you wanted to ask what color something is you could add “what” to the end: สีอะไร (see a-rai). Some other colors that aren’t association with one of the days are:
สีขาว (see khao): white
สีดำ (see dtum): black
สีน้ำเงิน (see nahm ngern): dark blue
สีเทา (see tao): gray
สีน้ำตาล (see nahm dtan): brown
Beyond the connections between specific colors and days of the week, the day of the week that you were born on holds significance in Thai culture similar to how the month or year you were born on is important in some systems like Western astrology or the Chinese Zodiac. Because of this, many Thai people know the day of the week they were born on whereas I and others I asked from the U.S. did not know without looking it up.
Learning about this actually solved a small personal mystery I encountered growing up and visiting my grandma’s temple in South Carolina. Just like many temples here in Thailand, there were 7 small statues of Buddha lined up with jars beneath them, each in a different pose. Visitors make donations to just one of these jars, but how they chose which jar eluded me until a cousin of mine in Thailand explained it to me during a trip we took together. Each posture is associated with a different day of the week and you should place your offering in the jar below the one that is associated with the day you were born. I had always been partial to the seated Buddha being protected by the Naga (A 7 headed serpent king) because it looked the coolest but it turns out that’s also the one associated with my day of birth. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out this blog post.
Practice matching up colors and days of the week in Thai and English using this tool I made to remember them:
By the way, I’m a Capricorn , born in the year of the Dragon on a Saturday.