Loy Krathong Festival
The full moon of twelfth lunar month every year is regarded as Loy Krathong Day (usually in November). In the morning, Thai people go to make merit at their own local temples: the evening is the celebration of Loy Krathong festival. The Krathong are floating ornaments which, are made of banana trunk which is cut crosswise about 3 centimeters thick. Then, folded pieces of banana leaves in shape of a lotus petal and put them together with the cut trunk. The completed Krathong is similar to the abloom lotus. Joss-sticks, candle, and bunch of flowers are put on the Krathongs. Before making the wish, and letting them float down the river, the candles and joss-sticks are lit.
Loy Krathong day is one of the most important traditions in Thailand because this day is considers to be by worship to a foot-print of the Lord Buddha. To avert a catastrophe on Loy Krathong day can be done by letting the sin drift along the river with Krathong s. From the historical evidence, “Phra Ruang” (King in the Sukhothai period) in his speech said”: “-from now on, when the full moon of twelfth lunar month comes, the flying lantern will be made as the lotus shape. We will pay homage to the foot-print of the Lord Buddha for ever after-“. Loy Krathong festival is organized in almost every part of Thailand. Each has the unique interesting celebration.
Loy krathong festivity at present, evolve itself to many varieties of parades, the Nang Noppamas contests (Beauty pageant), and many Thai performances. There is also the flying lantern made of different color papers. Their shape is like a balloon (northern, north eastern region). We let them drift away in the sky by lighting a torch inside the lanterns to get the heat. The heat will create pressure taking them to the sky. People always fly the lanterns at night because the brightness from them product the magical beauty, especially in the3 full moon period; (the tradition to flow the ablaze boat). It is made of banana trunk, but now made of bamboo, hanged with joss-stick, candle, and flowers. The characteristic feature of Lai Rue Fai is the light lit by a lamp coming off and spreading all over the full moon sky. There is improvement on designing bamboo into different shapes exquisitely. Lai Rue Fai is the another thing that attracts a lot of people participate in Loy Krathong celebration each year.
Lights from hundreds of candles twinkle on the water. Each one carries prayers and wishes sent off to float down rivers and streams. Celebrate Loy Krathong with your family to create lasting memories of your wonderful trip to Thailand.
Loy Krathong is one of Thailand’s most important holidays. As the exact date of the holiday is determined by the Thai lunar calendar, the date is different each year. The holiday normally falls in November and festival and parade days differ slightly from city to city. (Loy Krathong vies for the title of most important Thai holiday festival with Songkran, which is held in April.)
“Loy” means “float”, and a “krathong” is a special Thai floating sculpture particular to the holiday. The traditional krathong is 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. You will find hundreds of krathongs for sell around the main Loy Krathong festivity areas. Often school children will make their own krathongs in school or with their family. They’ll even have krathong contests in school to see who can craft the most beautiful and artistic float.
Today the banana trunk core is sometimes replaced by styrofoam or bread (baked into the form of a traditional krathong or a cute floating turtle). The banana trunk and bread krathongs are obviously eco-friendly, so better choices for your family.
Ask your hotel staff where they recommend celebrating Loy Krathong in your destination and they can easily point you in the right direction. When you’re there, browse the krathong displays and pick out your favourite (or even several!). Head to the waterside where you see local Thais gathering to float their krathongs. First light the incense sticks and candles (these will already be in the krathong that you have bought). Your entire family should hold the krathong together after it is lit. Everyone makes a wish, and then sends the krathong into the water with a little push, to carry your wish downstream. It carries away your troubles and offers up your wishes and prayers with the incense and glowing candle. Follow the flickering light with your eyes as long as you can.
Other Loy Krathong holiday traditions include setting eels and turtles free in the river or pond. Your children may have fun doing this. You’ll find them being sold near the water. The Loy Krathong holiday is also celebrated with beauty pageants.
The grandest Loy Krathong celebrations are in Chiang Mai. Enjoy the parades with large floats fashioned as giant krathongs each with their own theme. Many of the celebrants on the floats dress in regal Thai costumes or as mythical Thai beings, and you’re also likely to see beauty queens waving to the crowd.
In addition to the water festivities, Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai features floating lanterns (or sky lanterns), large paper lanterns that float up into the sky just as a hot air balloon does. Seeing hundreds or thousands of these launched into the air at once is magical. You will also easily find these lanterns for sale in Chiang Mai, and the vendors or other locals will be happy to show you how to light them and launch them into the air. As with the krathong, you hold the floating lantern as a family and then release it up into the air together.
Forge unforgettable Loy Krathong memories together as a family. Joining the local festivities of the Loy Krathong holiday and taking part in beautiful traditions will be a meaningful and memorable highlight of your Thailand family holiday. The cool weather during this part of the year also makes it a wonderful time to explore the many other wonders of Thailand.
FUN LOY KRATHONG FACTS
– According to a 2010 article in Manager Online, a survey by a certain condom company indicates that Loy Krathong is the festival, second to Valentine’s Day, where teenagers lose their virginity.
– Strands of hair, nail clippings or even bits of clothes that one doesn’t use anymore are often put into krathong according to the belief that it will get rid of the bad stuff from the past.
– Coins are added to krathong to bring wealth and as a way of making merit.
– For the romantic at heart and young couples, Loi Krathong is the time to make a wish for happiness together and success in love.
How to float a Krathong
Before floating the Krathong down the river or in the pond , there were a few things to be done;
1. Put a strand of you hair and bits of nails in the Krathong
2. Put some money in (usually coins)
3. Light the candle and incense
4. Make wishes
5. Let the Krathong go
A snip of hair and nails is used to represent all that bad stuff and a few coins as a bribe to the great water goddesses. The candle and the joss stick are lit to make wishes or ask for good luck and forgiveness from Pra Mae Khongkha, then you can put the Krathong in the water and watch it float away.
Some people believe that if the Krathong capsizes, it means bad luck. Some young people believe that if a couple float Krathong together it could cause them to break up – I think it is just a silly belief.
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