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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Float Away

A festive occasion for the month of November - Loy Krathong. Celebrated nationwide, it is an event when people launch krathong - a beautiful lotus-shaped vessel composed of banana trunk and leaves, flowers, a candle, 3 joss sticks, and some coins - into the river, canal, lake or body of water. As it occurs on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, this year's Loy Krathong fell on the 2nd of November.

Floating the beautiful krathong away is the main activity of Loy Krathong which carries the message of traditional ritual to pay respect to the Goddess of Water, show gratitude on the abundant use of water and ask for forgiveness for polluting the water. Prior to the launch of krathong, people would light up the candle and incense sticks and pray or make wishes. Gently placing the float on the water and letting it drift away marks the act of releasing misfortune and bad things in the past and anticipating good fortune in the future.

Despite falling on a Monday - a non-public holiday, it didn't stop people from going out and having fun with friends and their loved ones. It was afterall a ritual and a good occasion to strengthen relationship among family members and friends.

I and T prepared our krathongs one day in advance. We did them with a group of our building residents in a krathong-making session taking place in the entrance area of our building. My krathong for T(1st and 2nd pictures) was completed within an hour as I was rushing to go back and bake macarons. But T took his own sweet time to make this wonderful and meticulous krathong with multi-layered banana leaf petals (3rd and 4th pictures) and gave it to me.

Being through this session and launching krathongs together with T, I would say Loy Krathong is certainly something to be rememberred for both of us.


  1. O I didn't realize it was Loy Krathong time again. I actually have been in Chiang Mai, Thailand during the Loy Krathong celebration in 2004! How magical that was although we were not so lucky with the weather so a lot of the little boats sunk...:) But still fabulous to have experienced! Yours looks gorgeous!

  2. what a beautiful flowers arrangement, Kris. I wish you put one of the pictures when they float on the river it must be beautiful view I can imagine.

    Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there's a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living. And I wish all your wish will come true.

  3. Oh my. Those are absolutely gorgeous! I love the flowers - simply stunning.

  4. What a wonderful tradition! Your flowers are arranged in such a way that they look like cakes:) SO beautiful!!!

  5. So Beautiful. I am sure it was lovely to see all of the boat on the river.

  6. Junglefrog: Yes, Loy Krathong in Chiangmai is fabulous. Besides the floats, they have the tradition of launching lanterns to the evening sky.

    Lauren: Yes, I hope someday I can incorporate fresh flowers onto my cake. It is just too terrifying for me right now :-)

    Sue Sparks: Thanks, Sue! It is a great tradition and to my surprise, every single Thai seems to know how to do a krathong (float).

    Mimi: Yes, you should plan for a holiday here during November next year??? :-)

  7. Fit, it is actually great that the float launch is in the evening because some parts of the canal or river here are not really that pleasing to the eyes due to water pollution. So the beauty is left only in the imagination.

    Hmmm, my wish! To be a person who finally finds the joy and meaning of his life before the end of it. And I do wish whatever dream you have it will come true too, Fit!


  8. P.S. Love the new header on your blog! So pretty!

  9. Thanks for posting such a beautiful and interesting post! I love learning about other traditions--those flower arrangements are so pretty! :)