Saturday , 16 February 2019

Loi Krathong at Wat Rai Khing

I must say, there are 2 times each year when Thailand becomes a really festive place. The first is a Songkran and the second is Loi Krathong. Don’t misunderstand me, it is in no way second place to Songkran as it is probably the best time of the year because the temperatures start to cool down and we enter the peak tourist season.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. The exact date of the festival changes every year. In the Western calendar, this usually falls in the month of November

A Krathong is a vessel made from dried banana leaves fashioned into the shape of a lotus flower. The Krathong is decorated with incense sticks and a candle – sometimes a small coin is included as an offering to the spirits of the river.

The celebrations for Loi Krathong begin days before the event itself, building excitement ahead of the climax of the event. During this time, parades can be seen processing through the streets and beauty contests called Nopphamat Queen Contests are organized.

These beauty contests are so-called as a result of a couple of different theories; one is that 13th-century Sukhothai king Sri Indraditya had a consort called Nang Nopphamat, and she was believed to have been the first person to launch such a raft.

In my mind, this coincided with the pagan holiday of Samhain which marks the end of the harvest season and people preparing for the dark winter, but given that Thailand isn’t a cold climate, it is still a time for family planning.

Map Reference for Wat Rai Khing

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