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Loy Krathong Festival Thailand

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Loy Krathong Festival Thailand

Loy Krathong is a national celebration held in Thailand. People gather at the rivers and canals and place a decorated raft with a burning candle on the water to float away, carrying with it ones negative feelings.

Loy KrathongLoy Krathong is a beautiful festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand. It is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar, this usually falls sometime in November.

The name Loy Krathong literally means to ‘float a raft’ and in this ceremony Thai’s do exactly that. Small personal rafts are crafted from banana tree and elaborately decorated with flowers, three incense sticks and a candle. The rafts are then placed on the river to float down stream. The act of floating away the candle on a raft symbolizes letting go of one’s grudges, anger and defilements, so that we can start life afresh on a better foot. Many Thai’s will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself.

Loy Kratong Song Translated

Loy KrathongThe originally Brahmanical festival was adapted by Thai Buddhists as a ceremony to honor the Lord Buddha. The concept is thought to have originated in India from a Hindu festival similar to Divali, in which they give thanks to the deity of the Ganges with floating lanterns for giving life throughout the year.

Along with the floating of the raft and candle ritual, celebrations include beauty contests, spectacular fireworks displays and temporary markets selling everything from krathongs to food. The beauty contests that accompany the festival are known as “Noppamas Queen Contests” and according to legend, Noppamas was a consort of the Sukothai king Loethai (14th century) and she was the first to float decorated krathongs.

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