Monday, November 2, 2009

Loy Krathong Festival

It is already here today! What with all the posts I was reading about Halloween, I forgot what was happening right in my own backyard.

Loy Krathong is held every year on the full moon of twelfth lunar month, it always seems to arrive just after the monsoon winds change direction and the rains lessen. We are all celebrating Loy Krathong throughout Thailand today. “Loy” is a raft made of section of banana tree trunk, beautifully and elaborately decorated with folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, and three-incense sticks. People either construct their own or purchase them at the many roadside stands that pop up for the day. You make a wish, light the candles and joss sticks and launch the little rafts out to sea or down the river.

Tonight under the full moon, many people will release a small raft like this on a river or into the sea. In addition, fireworks and beauty contests take place during the festival. All the girls and women are dressed in  very elaborate traditional dress. The floating away of the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one’s grudges, sins, anger and defilements, then one can start life afresh on a better foot.

Small notes are often attached as offerings:

The children make humbler versions:

Clustered together they really create a pretty sight at twilight.

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