Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Loy Krathong festival

On 12th Nov was the full moon of twelfth lunar month and Thailand celebrated Loy Krathong, it is a festival coming from the Hindu “Deepavali” Festival of lights. Thais believe it is the time to apologize to the water deity the past years transgressions in form of any pollution (showering, cooking, toilet use, etc.) as thanks for giving life to crops and orchards.

Candle floats in front of Laguna

Me and my darling Jira had a float together made of a piece of banana tree trunk which was elaborately decorated with flowers an leaves. To top it off we cut our nails and a piece of hair and placed it on the float together with a few 1 baht coins in order for the water deity to give good life for us the following year.
Initially we drove off to Phuket town as we had some errands there but the whole town was blocked by long processions by school students dressed up in traditional Thai garb. Eventually it started raining as we got our business done so we decided to head for Laguna near Surin beach.

By the time we arrived Laguna the rain had stopped and we joined the long queue of cars snaking down to the (artificial?) lagoon at Laguna. We found a stretch of vacant pavement and parked our truck there and joined the throng towards the water.

The beach was littered by stalls selling all kind of foods, Krathongs, soft drinks etc. People were here also in hundreds. The beach had Greek candles stuck in the ground at intervals so people could light the candles on the Krathong and send it away on the water.

We lighted our Krathong and joss sticks from the candle and while holding onto the float together we gae a prayer to the deity and floated the Krathong on the water and pushed it gently off to join dozens of other Krathongs already floating off into the distance. At least it floated straight and did not capsize like somebody elses float did.

A very short “operation” eventually and when it as done we headed back to our truck and drove off, heading back to our house.

My Indian crew headed off to Patong Beach and as per them it was the same as in Laguna.

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