The Loy Krathong Festival - Lighting Up The Chao Phraya

By Eric Lim, Thu Dec 8th

The Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most colorful Thaifestivals celebrated nationwide. Processions of beautiful girlsdressed in traditional costumes carry floral floats that arefloated on rivers and lakes. Each province has its specialfeatures in celebrating this annual Festival of Lights.
In Bangkok the highlight of the Loy Krathong Festival was aprocession of boats from the Royal Thai Navy decorated withvarious designs and lights presented by various organizationsheld nightly from 13 - 16 November 2005.
It was a spectacular floating kaleidoscope flickering in thenight along the Chao Phraya River from the Taksin Bridge to KingRama VIII Bridge against a backdrop of historical monumentslighted up for the occasion.
The Loy Krathong tradition
What's the significance of this festival beyond the color andpageantry?
The Loy Krathong Festival is a 13th century Sukhothai traditionof Brahmin origin, adapted to Buddhism, to give thanks to theGoddess of water and to seek forgiveness for past misdeeds.
This tradition is particularly strong in agricultural societieswhere the river gives life and sustenance in a close bondbetween Man and Nature. To the millions of farmers dependant onits source of water, the Chao Phraya is the river of life.
Held on the 15th night of the new moon in the twelve-month ofthe Thai calendar, the Loy Krathong Festival usually falls inthe third or fourth week of November.
The Loy Krathong ritual
In the ritual, the person kneels by the water, says a prayer,makes a wish, asks for forgiveness and floats (loy) off thelighted krathong. Courting couples float off a krathong togetherunder the full moon and watch as the krathong drifts towards thefulfillment of their dreams.
Making the krathong
Made entirely from natural material, traditional krathongsconsist of a small slice of banana trunk to serve as the float,which is decorated with banana leaves, multi-colored orchids,lotus and bright yellow marigolds, a candle and three josssticks.
In the old days, sharpened wooden slivers are used to pin

No comments: