Thursday, November 6, 2014

Loy Kratong Festival 2014

Tonight is the 12th full Moon on the traditional lunar calendar and in Thailand Loy Kratong night.
The celebration marks the passage from the rain season, to the dry and more "cool' season. The Monsoon will change direction from South West (brings the humid air from the open Sea along with the heavy rains) to North East (brings the dry and fresh air from inner Asia).

Loy Kratong Night in Phuket
Loy Kratong competiotion

Loy Kratong Celebration in Phuket
Pino in traditional custom

Loy Kratong Festival in Phuket
Carla in Traditional custom
 So now we know when is Loy Kratong in Phuket and Thailand. It is the night of November Full Moon. So every year moves date

But actually means Loy Kratong? Literally float (loy) a basket (Kratong). Not just a normal basket but it is Lotus shaped and decorated. The base is made by a slice of Banana Tree trunk (between 10 and 30 cm of diameter), decorated with twisted Banana Tree leaves, flowers a candle and three incense sticks. People prepare their own, try to make the most beautiful one.
Thailand Loy Kratong Night
Loy Kratong
Those that don't have one can easily buy in shops and stall at road side. Childrens prepare one at school to then leave then floating in the evening.

What happen during Loy Kratong? nothing really special, it is just an occasion for a celebration. Its isn't a public holiday. People will gather near lakes, ponds and rivers. Everyone ready with his Kratong to leave it floating and bring carrying wishes of good luck or carrying away bad things.

Thailand Loy Kratong Night
Am and friend ready to Loy Kratong
On the Kratong there is a candle to venerate Buddha, incense for the spirit of water, one one Baht coin for luck an people sometime  put hair and the cut from their nails to send away bad luck.

Phuket Loy Kratong Night
Loy Kratong
Every municipality around the Thailand will provide spaces near water to celebrate, organizing fairs, street markets, plenty of food and competitions between villages to see who is bale to make the most beautiful Kratong. Some are really Matsrepieces.

Phuket Loy Kratong Night
Kathu municipality Loy Kratong 2014

During Loy Kratong there is also another tradition, release the flying lanterns, so some time people calls Loy Karatong the lanterns night.
Lantern Night in Thailand
Relaease Lanter from MV Sai Mai
This actually is the tradition in Northern Thailand or Lanna region. There the celebration is called Yi Peng and has a more religious meaning to honor the Buddah. The thousand of lanterns released will make the dark sky looks like a sea of lights. It is very impressive.

In recent years and in tourist areas, specially near the sea and on the islands the Lanterns are more popular then the Kratongs. They are also sold on the beaches and people like to release them all year round.

Now I go to enjoy Loy Kratong here in Kathu with my Family
Loy Kratong night in Kathu
Julie and Monica ready to launch their wishes

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