Loy Krathong Day is one of the most popular festivals of Thailand celebrated annually on the Full-Moon Day of the Twelfth Lunar Month. It takes place at a time when the weather is fine as the rainy season is over and there is a high water level all over the country.
The word “Loy” means “to float”, and “Krathong” means lotus-shaped vesselmade of banana leaves. Loy Krathong is, therefore the floating of an illuminated leaf bowl. But nowadays some krathongs are made of coloured paper. A krathong usually contains a candle, three joss sticks, some flowers and coins.
The history of Loy Krathong Festival is slightly obscure. First, it is to ask for apology from the water goddess for having used and sometimes made rivers and canals dirty. Second, it is to offer flowers, candles and joss sticks as a tribute to the footprint of Lord Buddha on the sandy beach of the Nammatha River in India. Third, it is to show gratitudeto the Phra Mae Kong Ka or Mother of Water. Fourth, it is to wash away the previous year’s misfortunes.
The ceremony is believed to have originated in the time of King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand, and to have been started by Nang Nophamas or Tao Sri Chulalak, the Brahman consort of the King. She was the first person who introduced “Krathongcherm”, the banana leaf krathong in the form of lotus blossom on the festival night. The festival starts in the evening when there is a full moon in the sky. People carry their krathongs to the river and canals. After lighting candles and joss sticks and making a wish, they gently place the krathongs on the water and let them drift away till they go out of sight. It is believed that krathongs carry away their sins and bad luck, and happiness will come to them. Indeed, it is the time to be joyful and happy as the sufferings are floated away.
The festival includes a contest of Krathong-making, the Nophamas Queen Contest, local games and performances, entertainment programs and firework displays. The Loy Krathong song contributes to the romantic atmosphere of this occasion.
vessel (n.) ภาชนะ, เรือ
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