This week in Thailand was the Loy Krathong Festival. This is our third year (posts from the archive: year 1, year 2) that we have been in Thailand for this colorful and happy holiday.
Loy Krathong is a holiday that the Thai Buddhists adopted from the Brahmans in the late 1800’s. It is always celebrated on the night of the full moon of the twelfth month in the lunar calendar, so usually mid-to-late November.
A Krathong is a tray made from that is decorated with banana leaves, vibrant flowers, a candle, and incense sticks. Sometimes the tray is made from a slice of a banana tree or spider lily plant, bread, and occasionally styrofoam (SOOOOO BAD! Please do not buy these ones! They are horrible for the planet).
Each Kratong includes a candle and incense that are supposed to honor the Buddha. Often people will include their fingernail clippings or a snip of their hair as well. The act of floating the kratong is considered the physical act of letting the bad things from the previous year float away and start the new year renewed and fresh.
Someone recently asked me about how my faith fits with attending and participating in Buddhist religious holidays. I really wanted to touch on this quickly…
We only partially participate in the festival as we are not Buddhist. We are Christian, and many Christians here actually refuse to participate in Loy Krathong and other Buddhist religious holidays. This holiday is a ceremony to give honor to Buddha and is, therefore giving honor to an idol in some people’s minds. I understand others views and am sensitive to those that think that way. God has a way of convicting each person as an individual. To me, Loy Krathong is a beautiful sight to see and more of a cultural experience than a religious event to me (sorry for the repeat, but I must make this part clear). And so we go to the festival, we partially participate by making Krathongs, going and letting off a floating lantern, and doing some shopping at the markets that pop up along waterways during the night of the festival.
Now back to Loy Krathong…
This year, Z and I went to a class at Oasis Ed. Phuket to make our own Krathongs. Z was a natural and made three in quick succession. I made one as well and we were ready for the celebration.
So let’s go! (My camera settings were all off and weird, so I have the date on all the pictures and they were all fairly blurry…hooray. Such a bummer, I couldn’t figure out how to change anything until after the festival…poo).
We had a great time at the Loy Krathong Festival this year. This time of year is a wonderful time to visit Phuket. The weather is perfect and warm! Hint, hint for next year! xoxox