November 12, 2006
Last weekend was the Loy Kratong festival. It is held on the 13th lunar month during the full moon (the November full moon).
I love finding a festival celebrating nature. There are two activities, first the lanterns, which are big white balloons that are lit and released. Some of them have fireworks as a “tail”. It creates a sparkly tail like a comet. They are usually white, but I saw some colored ones, and some groups write notes on them.
Second is releasing Kratongs in the river. Thais love to release things. Both were amazing to see up close. One of the schools I work for released a lantern so I got to help! We also spent part of the day making the Kratongs which are slices of Banana tree trunk covered with banana leaves, flowers, incense and candles. Remember you need three incense sticks and one candle. Both are released for luck and good fortune in the next year. We asked if one incense stick was ok and they said no, one is for a funeral. Fun times.
After dark the sky just fills with these points of light as if all of the stars were huge, bigger than planets. It was unique to say the least and I absolutely loved it.