With the time change on Sunday night, I actually drive home in the dark now, and I saw a full moon tonight. This made me think of Loy Krathong, I knew it was that time of the year and sure enough many places in Thailand celebrated their Loy Krathong over the weekend.
The Loy Krathong Festival takes place in all parts of Thailand, and in Laos, it is called Lai Heur Fai Nam, this takes place on the full moon night of the Twelfth Lunar Month. The Krathong or Heur Fai is made of banana leaves that contains flowers, candles and incense sticks, as well as some food and coins placed in there.
When I was little living in Thailand, I was told that Loy Krathong is a traditional Thai way of life, it is widely believed that these are offerings made to Mae Khongkha (mother of waters) either to please her in an expression of gratitude for providing life-sustaining water throughout the year, and to ask her for forgiveness for man’s carelessness in polluting the water that nourishes all life. Many also believe that by setting adrift the krathong, one symbolically casts away one’s grief, misery, and ill fortunes. Coins are also placed in the krathong as offerings. For the romantic at heart and young couples, Loy Krathong is the time to make wishes for happiness together and success in love.
The Lanna (Northern Thai people) use sky lanterns all year round for celebrations and other special occasions. And on Loy Kratong festival, lovers and partners gather on the riverbanks to float flowers and candles, launch fireworks and release sky lanterns together, also known as Khom Loy or Khom Fai. It is considered good luck to release a sky lantern, and many Thais believe they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away.
This year’s event, Loy Krathong Sukhothai.
More information on the Lanna celebration.