A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new."
Dalai Lama

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Loy Kratong

Monday night was special. It was ‘Loy Kratong’. One of the most popular and romantic of Thailand's traditional festivals. The festival is held on the night of the 12th full moon, which this year was on the Monday evening. Last night.
We went to the local Wat and whilst it was fun, it was somewhat low key this year. Perhaps also it was because we had been so often before over the last few years it was no longer a new thing to us.
The festival is to pay homage to the goddess of the rivers and waterways, Mae Nam.
‘Loy’ literally translates to "float", while ‘Kratong’ is the Thai word for a sort of tray made out of Banana leaves. We had one Loy Kratong each. Loy Kratong 'activity' is celebrated by floating these down a river. Again in our case it was a lake and the wind was blowing onshore. So they did not go far…. Not sure if this is a good or bad sign….
The romance input, is provided by a legend from the origins of the festival in 13th century during Sukhothai. The story goes, Nang Nopamas, a royal consort of King Ramkhamhaeng (the founder of Sukhothai), made the first kratong as an offering to Mae Nam. She set it afloat on one of the canals of the palace so that it would drift past her lover the king. The king was delighted with the creation, and this was the origins of the saying that if two lovers set a kratong adrift and it stays afloat until out of sight, their love will last forever. You believe that…..... Keep floating your Kratong...along….
So my video, which is not particularly good opens with a lantern floating in the sky. I tell you this as I doubt you would have figured it out on your own! Not a critism of you the reader but of my vidoe techniques.
It is made of paper and has a small flame/candle to heat it up so it lifts into the sky and floats away. Beautiful to watch. The rest of the video shows people placing their ‘Kratongs’ and a few shots of some food stalls at the evening event.

video