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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loy Krathong Festival: "Dreams Do Come True"

Loy Krathong Festival is one of Thailand's most popular and most spectacular festivals. It competes head to head for the title with Songkran Festival, another Thai holiday that falls in April. Loy Krathong doesn't have an exact or specific date. It is determined by the Thai lunar calendar which normally falls in November.

The word "Loi" means to float, and a "krathong" is a lotus blossom-shaped vessel traditionally made from a cross-section of a banana tree trunk, which is then elaborately decorated with folded banana leaves and flowers in intricate towering designs. It contains candles, incense sticks and flowers. During this time, people carry their krathongs and float them on rivers, lakes and canals. It is their way of paying respect to the goddess of water, with hopes that their prayers and wishes will one day come true. Some believe that this is the time to symbolically ‘float away’ all the anger and grudges you have been holding onto, and including a fingernail or a lock of hair is seen as a way of letting go of the dark side of yourself, to start anew free of negative feelings. If your candle stays alight until your Krathong disappears out of sight, it means a year of good luck.

Some provinces in Thailand, like Chiang Mai, feature floating lanterns just like a hot air balloon. Seeing the floating krathongs from a far with the flickering lights of their candles, as well as the hundred or maybe thousand of floating lanterns launched simultaneously into the air is truly magical.

Note: Loy Krathong is annually celebrated throughout Thailand and certain parts of Laos and Myanmar. There is no equivalent word for it in English but people will normally be heard saying  small boat, vessel, receptacle or container.

9 comments:

  1. I'm going to visit Nan River tonight here in Phitsanulok and I know there will be tons of Loy Krathong activities. It will once again be a magical evening.

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  2. May De Jesus-PalacpacNovember 7, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    Oooh, it so reminds me of Disney's Tangled! But I'm sure this one dates way back. Besides the meaning behind is different.
    Thank you for sharing about the culture of Thailand. It is one of the countries I dream of visiting with the family. :)

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  3. Loy Krathong sounds like a beautiful festival. I wish I get a chance to witness it once in my life :)

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  4. I bet the festival scenery is dramatic. I'd love to be part of that festival.

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  5. I love the float away, and the idea of letting go anger and grudges that you are holding in you, it really helps a person if he does that

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  6. I've tried the floating lantern and it was fun. Seeing this festival live would be really great.

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  7. Beth MusingHousewifeNovember 10, 2014 at 4:40 AM

    I've never really been a fan of floating lanterns... I always become nervous they'll come down too soon. Beautiful festival though.


    Beth

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  8. I recently went to a festival where they released the lanterns. SO beautiful. However, there are some environmentalists who frown at these lanterns. These can be fire and environmental hazards.

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  9. Indeed. I believe if we dream it and act on it, we will achieve some version of it.

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