Loy Krathong this year falls on a Wednesday the 28th of November. Loy Krathong is a Buddhist festival where Thai people make offerings of Krathongs (bouquet-like little pagodas with incense and candle) and float (loy) them in the water after saying a prayer to the gods of the water.

Image

This Buddhist ritual is supposed to fend off bad luck and usher in all the good ones. Here is the lyrics of the ‘Loy Krathong’ song in Thai inscription and the followed by the English translation:

วัน เพ็ญ เดือน สิบสอง

น้ำ ก็ นอง เต็ม ตลิ่ง

เรา ทั้ง หลาย ชาย หญิง สนุก กัน จริง วัน ลอย กระทง

ลอย ลอย กระทง, ลอย ลอย กระทง

ลอย ลอย กระทง กัน แล้ว ขอ เชิญ น้อง แก้ว ออก มา รำวง

รำวง วัน ลอย กระทง, รำวง วัน ลอย กระทง

บุญ จะ ส่ง ให้ เรา สุข ใจ, บุญ จะ ส่ง ให้ เรา สุข ใจ

November full moon shines

Loi Krathong, Loi Krathong

And the water’s high in local river and the klong

Loi Krathong, Loi Krathong
Loi Krathong, Loi Krathong

Loy gratong is here and everybody’s full of cheer

We’re together at the klong
Each one with his krathong
As we push away we pray
We can see a better day

Loi Krathong, Loi Krathong
Loi Krathong, Loi Krathong

Loy gratong is here and ever

Image

Anywhere you’ll go on that day, you will find Krathongs like these being sold for 50-300 baht depending on the size and variety of flowers attached. Sometimes the most intricate ones could cost way over the price range I mentioned previously. They normally use banana trunk for the foundation of the Krathong but fortunately for the fish, some use bread for foundation, too!

You don’t have to go to the main river Chao Praya to witness the festival. Just run to the nearby klong (canal) or the nearest temple and there surely will be floating of krathongs and a little fireworks good enough for photo ops, if you are a tourist.

Image

Flying lamps are now available, too. Last year, they came in three sizes and the prices were 50, 100 and 250. But no matter what you do just make sure you don’t risk walking into a restaurant by the river or a river cruise dinner because man, they will be fully-booked months ago. And if you managed to squeeze your way in without prior booking, brace for a big surprise- the prices of the menu goes up by five times the normal rate!!

As a Christian, I don’t really adhere to these rituals but as a teacher in a Thai school, I cooperate whenever its Loy Krathong Festival. It’s pretty much like fiesta in the Philippines this Loy Krathong is to the Thai people. Besides, how do we win their trust if we can’t show them a little respect when it’s their culture and tradition. I help make the Krathongs but when its time to pile up to see the monk and be sprinkled with some kind of water and incense, I respectfully excuse myself. And they are more than happy to let me go.

Advertisements