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Loy Krathong Festival

 

Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong Festival

The tradition of Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand appeared in the period of Sukhotai.
The culmination of the festival falls on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. This usually happens in a mid-late of November.
When the moon light illuminates the rivers and lakes -  the reservoirs in which people release their Krathongs.

In the past Loy Krathong festival was called Chong Pa Rieng (floating lantern of the royal ceremony).
This used to be a Brahmin holiday, which emerged as a tradition of worshipping of the gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
When Thai people adopted Buddhism, the festival became a place of worshiping Buddha.
People were releasing the floating lanterns in order to symbolically worship Buddha's trail on the beach of the river Nammathanati in India.

The first Krathongs were made in the shape of a lotus by a favorite concubine of the king Phra Ruang.
The King liked this Krathong so much that he ordered every year on the night of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month to make floating lanterns in the shape of a lotus, and send them floating on the water as a sign of worshipping of the foot print of the Lord Buddha.

Next photos are taken from the official web site of the Loy Krathong Festival - http://loikrathong.net/

The festival has its own song:


The same video, but with a song in English and with English subtitles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLesOes1Ypw&feature=share&list=ULTLesOes1Ypw

During the festival, many provinces of Thailand have their large-scale fairs, fireworks, live shows, contests for the biggest and most beautiful Krathong, as well as beauty contests. It is celebrated very lively in the north of the Thai Kingdom in the city of Chiang Mai.

In addition to sending Krathongs afloat on the water, there is a tradition of launching lanterns into the sky.
More precisely, this is a cylinder made of thin paper, which is filled with hot air from the lit wick and the laws of physics soar it up into the night sky.
The whole thing looks very beautiful, especially when hundreds of lanterns go up in the air:

Before letting the lantern go in free flight, you need to make a wish. And if the lantern will fly briskly into the night, the wish will come true.
However, later, after the fuse is burned out, the lanterns fall back to the ground.
Lanterns in the sky is beautiful and romantic, but the main celebration yet is the Krathongs.
Usually krathongs are made from bio-degradable materials: banana tree trunk, a banana leaf, tropical flowers, soft colored paper and incense sticks. Some times krathongs are made of bread - an edible option that fish love.

Though it is not quite clear how do all those needles and nails (for keeping the parts of Krathong together) and candles fit into the whole thing so the krathong would look like a lantern rather than just a beautiful basket of flowers and blank leaves.

You can make Krathong by yourself.
You will need:
- Needle and thread,
- Pins with heads or thin nails
- Leaves of banana tree (the larger the leave, the better)
- Banana tree stump - about 5 cm thick,
- Flowers,
- Long thin candles and aroma sticks.
All components can be purchased on the market before the holiday starts.

Video instruction of how to make your own Krathong:

Flowers are usually used for decoration "a la naturel", but you can make flowers from banana leaves:

You can also buy ready-made Krathong.
They are sold everywhere, just along the road. Prices start from 20 baht for a very-very simple one.

There are several legends that explain the krathongs on the water and the lanterns in the sky:

1. During the celebration of Loy Krathong people would ask for forgiveness from the goddess of water (Pra Mae Khongkha) for using and polluting the water throughout the year, and to thank her for the water that nourishes the land and provides drinking. People would also place inside a krathong a tiny lock of hair to make all the bad things that happened over the past year, all diseases and disasters float away in order to make way for a new happiness.

2. According to the Brahman beliefs, Loy Krathong is a way of worshiping God.

3. Loy Krathong - is a welcoming for Buddha when he came into the world, after having spent the whole of the rainy season inside a Buddhist temple, as taught by the mentor of his mother.

4. Loy Krathong - is a way of worshiping the footprint of the Buddha on the beach of the river Nammathanati in India.
And so on.

On Koh Samui the main celebration takes place around Chaweng Lake. Back in the day you can have fun in Nathon, where there is a fair organized with launching Krathong lanterns and fireworks.

Loy Kratong 2013 on Koh Samui


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