Loy Krathong Festival
Loy Krathong is a Thai Festival on November 11th. It’s a holiday that’s just as big as their New Year called Songkran Festival on April 13th.
This holiday takes place mainly in Chiang Mai even though it’s celebrated all over Thailand. It consists of mainly lanterns, also called floating lights. It’s absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. Although it’s beautiful, this holiday also causes some disturbance for Thailand.
1. There have been many airplane flights canceled this week in Thailand due to the confusion with all the festival lights.
2. The Krathongs trash the river, so now they make them out of fish food to “feed the river” as the Thai people call it which equals a second sacrifice.
3. Due to the fact that many buildings have caught on fire, Bangkok uses the floating lanterns on water instead of the ones to float away in the sky.
The day before the festival, Jennie helped me make my own Krathong by using a banana tree trunk as the base and banana leaves to decorate it. We twisted and spun the leaves to make a rose and stuck them in the trunk using toothpicks. It was actually harder than it looked. This is the Thai traditional way of making it.
I went with P’Pan on Monday night after Thai school to join in on this special holiday. She wanted me to have the real Thai experience and took me to Icon Siam, the biggest mall in all of Thailand. It was so rich and beautiful, I definitely felt out of place. There were around five million people there that night – half of Bangkok!
To get to Icon Siam we had to cross the Chao Phraya River. It’s the main river canal used in Thailand for transportation and is known as, “River of Glory.” This is the main river people sacrifice and pray to which explains why there were so many people.
The celebration of this festival is when you light your candle on your Krathong, you’re making a wish. As you place it in the river, you’re asking the river goddess for forgiveness for using the river through the years. As you watch your Loy Krathong float away so will all your worries float away along with your guilt, shame, and sin.
The Loy Krathong was quite an experience being that there were too many people for me and it being so hot. You can’t tell, but my dress was wet from sweat and touching so many people the whole time.
I’m so thankful for P’Pan spending the evening with me and taking me to the Loy Krathong Festival. I got to see and experience a lot of Thai culture! One day though, seeing the floating lights in Chiang Mai will be checked off my bucket list.