Festival of Lights and Lanterns – Loy Krathong
My first trip to Thailand was way way back in 1997, while I was in the Navy on the HMCS Huron. At this point in my Naval Career, I had traveled to many places in the world. We pulled into Sattahip Naval Station and it just so happened that we were in port for 10 days, and I spent the entire time down in Pattaya and Jomtien Beach area. Though it was the wrong time of the year to enjoy the Loy Krathong Celebrations, I was able to catch it a mere 10 years later.
I happened to move to Thailand in Sept 2007, and I was there for the remainder of 2007 and into 2008. I had the honor of being there in the midst of this breathtaking festival. If there is one thing about Thailand they love their festivals, and rightly so, when you consider all the fun and socializing is very near and dear to the Thai culture. I will admit, I stay away from all the big tourist places and I try to find an area where I can just melt into the local culture, so I am able to experience the real place, people, food, and way of life.
Festival of Lights and Lanterns
Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the 12th lunar month (Normally November), which is at the end of the rainy season, so the temperatures are more forgiving, and when the full moon lights up the sky. the sights of thousands of lanterns, with their candles flickering with thousands of pinpoints of light floating across the sky is truly magical.
What is Loy Krathong
The candle symbolizes the Buddha with light, while krthong’s floating away means letting go of all ones hatred and anger. Yi Peng Lantern Festival is an ancient festival adapted from Brahmin origins tha paid respects to the water spirits and is associated with the Thai Lanna culture.
I have even seen people in Canada launching Lanterns in memory of lost loved ones. I loved the time that I spent in Thailand. We met a really nice family that owned/worked a little chuck of beach in Jomtien. We would go there 4 or 5 times a week, and spend time with them. They invited us to a BBQ on the night of Loy Krathong, and it was so spirtual I will never forget it.
Have you spent time at this Festival, if so please leave your comments below and let me know about your memories.