Lantern Festival 

Loi Krathong is the lantern festival in Thailand.  A literal translation is floating basket or floating crown.   Taking place on the evening of the full moon of the twelfth Month of the Thai calendar (November for us), it involves usually creating a floating decoration that you out candles and incense on and float down a river.  The Krathong looks like a floating basket or crown or even a lily pad. 
The meaning or origin of the festival is to give respects to the water spirits, and throw away all the bad energy such as hatred and anger.  The water goddess is named Phra Mae Khongkha.  To let go of negativity, a piece of hair and nail clippings are put on an individual’s Krathong.  
In northern Thailand, the festival is different in that they set lanterns into the air.  It sometimes has a different name, the Lanna Festival which celebrates the full moon.  Lanterns of bamboo or rice paper are alight by fire and sent up in the sky.  
We had an amazing day as our tour guide Bhoo and Mod spent time all day with us making Krathong and teaching us the Loi Krathong song.   Making a Krathong starts with a slice of a banana tree trunk and a lot of banana leaves.  The leaves are secured to the slice of trunk with pins. First you cover the bottom and tops with circular pieces and surround the outside as well.  Then you fold small strips of banana leaf into about twenty small pieces like origami to look like the leaves of a locus flower.  You decorate the sides and the top of the floating Krathong with these leaves, then decorate it with flowers.  Finally, you insert a candle and three incense sticks. 
I am not the most artistic person but surprised myself by making quite a beautiful Krathong. I am quite proud of myself actually.  It felt good to then cut off a piece of my hair and cut a fingernail to add to it and make a wish and release it down the river making a wish for the upcoming year.  The river wasn’t moving super fast so it looked like a line of lanterns on the river and so magical and beautiful.  You went down onto a rickety dock to release the Krathong and it was full of people, but a lovely and beautiful tradition.  So nice to celebrate it with locals. 
We also had a few of the sky lanterns as well and released them into the sky.  We had a few dogs pass away and so we said goodbye in this way.   The result was magical with glowing white lanterns chasing each other up into the sky.  

Our amazing teachers, Mod and Bhoo
Tegan and I! With our beautiful handmade Krathongs
Quite proud of my artistry
Volunteer Special Night Out to Loi Krathong Festival in Takuapa
If you don’t have time to make a Krathong, they are available to buy at the festival.
Busy street festival. Loi Krathong in Takuapa
Vendors’ wares
Loved the street food available at the festival! Yum!
The streets lit up for Loi Krathong


One thought on “Lantern Festival ”

  1. Wow, Debra, what a great blog! So interesting and informative! Love your flowers and your Krathong? You are sure learning a lot and experiencing great adventures! I know there is the one festival of the two ladies when I am there! love mom!

    Liked by 1 person

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