Sunday, November 21, 2010

Loy Krathong - A Festival of Lights

Floating Lanterns Fill the Sky at Loy Krathong

In Thailand, the word "sanuk" means to have fun. Throughout the year there are many celebrations and festivals but none more magical than Loy Krathong.

Loi" means "to float" and a "krathong" is traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. During the night of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, Thais will float their krathongs on a river, canal or a  lake.

The Loy Kratong ritual is a simple one - you need only to light the candles and the joss sticks, make one's wishes and let it float away with the current of a river or a canal. Many people also add a few small coins, a lock of hair or fingernail clippings.

Traditional Krathong

On this night, hundreds of thousands of these tiny boats will be cast into the waters and the sky will be filled with fireworks and floating lanterns 'khom loy'. These large balloon-like lanterns are released at temples,homes and along the waterfront in the hope that misfortune flies away with them.

As dusk falls, thousands of people, Thais and Tourists alike will maker their way to the waterfront to enjoy this unique "Festival of Light".  Jomtien Beach offers a great location to enjoy these festivities.

As you approach the beach, you'll hear the sound of music coming from various stages punctuated by the sound of fireworks, There will be dozens of vendors selling beautiful "kratongs" for $2 or $3 US Dollars ...... and of course there will be Food EVERYWHERE!!

Once you settle in to your beach chair to enjoy the cool November breeze, you'll be in a front row seat for a spectacular light show that will go on from dusk to the wee hours of the morning. Vendors will be there to sell you food & Drink, fireworks, floating lanterns and kratongs to enable you to take part in the fun.

Thais & farang (westerners), Gay & Straight, Couples and families all look forward to this special night. We'll try and bring you pictures from this years' party tomorrow!!