Two sea snails were married in a bizarre wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day – as superstitious locals believe it will bring good luck to people whose businesses are struggling during the pandemic.
Local government officials supervised the marriage of the two creatures inside ‘his and hers’ fishbowls in Rayong province, Thailand on February 14.
Provincial governor Anan Nakniyom said the unusual wedding event that they called ‘Sweet Sea on Valentine’s Day’ was done as an offering to the Buddhist deities.
He said: ‘We wanted to ask for a prosperous new year. Covid-19 has affected tourism in our province especially the hotels where many workers were laid off.’
Anan added that by marrying the two snails, they believe that the creatures will flourish in the sea and appease the Gods, bringing bountiful harvests to fisherman and income from tourism.
The shells were placed in separate bowls while people gave their blessings, then dropped together in a tank so they could consumate the marriage and mate.
Aside from the two legally married marine animals, there were 250 more pairs of sea snails from the wildlife centres that were taken to the event.
Fishermen couples who attended the religious ceremony took all the snails with them to release back to the sea.
Governor Anan said that the unique event could hopefully attract tourists back to their province again.
He said: ‘This sea snail marriage event will hopefully make tourists interested, so will want to come and watch them.’
Thailand’s Krungsri Bank forecasts that it will be up to three years before tourism returns to its pre-pandemic levels. The country has recorded a relatively low 24,786 Covid-19 infections and 82 deaths as of February 17 but the impact on the tourism-dependent economy has been devastating.