Evening Temple, Lai Heur Fai Nam and Loy Krathong Festival

One of the most memorable events I attended was attending Wat Lang or evening temple and Lai Heur Fai Nam or Loy Krathong Festival at our local temple Wat Greensboro. I used to think that Lai Heur Fai Nam and Loy Krathong Festival were the same event, and that Lai Heur Fai Nam is a festival celebrated in Laos and Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated in Thailand. The event is similar but definitely not the same. Lai Heur Fai Nam is celebrated in Laos, and takes place right after Ok Punsa or the End of Buddhist Lent, which is in October and Loy Krathong is celebrated in Thailand, and takes place during the full moon of the twelfth lunar month and this year started on November 7th. Our local temple held a Loy Krathong event early since it was expected to be too cold in November.  The event was held on a Saturday October 18th, and since it fell right after Ok Punsa I considered this to be a Lai Heur Fai Nam event.

I got up early that Saturday morning to make my own Heur Fai Nam or Krathong, and got most of the items from my garden.

I used to make the Krathong when I was little living in Thailand, but that’s been a while back and thank goodness there’s Youtube videos of how to make the Krathong.

My first one didn’t look too bad, I had the white candle but didn’t have the incense sticks at home.

This one I made for Lee, and I had made 4 Krathongs total.

This was our first time attending Wat Lang or evening temple. The atmosphere was different, being on the temple ground at night ghost was definitely on my mind but no luck and no ghost encounter, so no ghost story to share with you all.

I was busy with taking pictures that Bo took care of the Krathong for me. I don’t think he realized the meaning of Lai Heur Fai Nam or Loy Krathong. As I had mentioned in my previous Loy Krathong post that 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. As for the romantic at heart and young couples, Loy Krathong is the time to make wishes for happiness together and success in love.

I didn’t get a chance to cast away my grief, misery, and ill fortunes but deep down inside I knew it floated away with my Heur Fai Nam.

I’m glad our temple held Loy Krathong event this year, and hope that I will get a chance to attend the event in Laos or Thailand someday.

2 thoughts on “Evening Temple, Lai Heur Fai Nam and Loy Krathong Festival

  1. Your Krathong is so crafty and pretty. I also like that your Krathong is made with banana leaves because it’s biodegradable.

    I can only imagine how magical this event must be in Laos or Thailand.

    • Hi Bree, it’s fun to make and brought back a lot of my childhood memories. I would love to live in Laos or Thailand for 1 year, and see all the events. 🙂

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