Today is Loi Krathong in Thailand. What does that mean exactly? That I got to play dress up alllll day. No, but really. Loi Krathong is a festival in Thailand that happens the 12th lunar month of every year, usually the full moon in November. And now I will copy and paste the rest of the important information around it from Wikipedia because Loi Krathong is a tiring holiday and I don’t have the energy to think of witty things to say.
Loi means ‘to float’, while krathong refers to a usually lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. The traditional krathong are made of the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or styrofoam. On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits. Government offices, corporations and other organizations big large decorated krathongs.
Loi Krathong is often claimed to have been begun in the Sukhothai by a court lady named Nopphamat. However, it is now known that the Nopphamat tale comes from a poem written in the early Bangkok period. According to H.M. King Rama IV, writing in 1863, it was a Brahmanical festival that adapted by Thai Buddhists in Thailand to honor Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama. The candle venerates the Buddha with light, while the krathong’s floating symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements. People sometime cut their fingernails or hair and placed the clippings on the krathong as a symbol of letting go of negative thoughts. However, many ordinary Thai use the krathong to thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha
My Loi Krathong consisted of me and the other foreign teachers dressing up in traditional Thai clothing for the morning assembly, where we were marched around. Then later in the day we were invited to march in the parade through town with the school. Unfortunately, it was rainy and the weather pretty crummy, but it was still so fun to play dress up and get our hair and make up done. The kids are really into the day and they made krathongs and we played the Loi Krathong song all day, which is now engrained in my brain. They loved the fact that we were all dressed up, I have never received so many compliments or got asked to take more pictures in my life. We were like farang superstars.
At the end of the day we went down to the park in the middle of town to light our krathongs and launch them to make a wish. Since a picture is worth a 1000 words I will just shut up now and show you all the pictures from the day. It was like playing the Thai version Pretty, Pretty, Princess all day so in my book thats a win.