Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Loy Krathong

As I browsed through the local papers while waiting for my flight to Bangkok at the Koh Samui Airport, a tourist – who had a view of my paper's frontpage, which featured local beauties in traditional Thai dress at a Loy Krathong pageant – asked me whether everybody always dressed up in such beautiful costumes for a ‘Full Moon Party’?

I smiled at the opportunity to share a bit of real Thai culture with a tourist.

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually by Thais on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month to give thanks to the Goddess of Water ‘Phra Mae Khongkha’ for having blessed them with enough water to  cultivate the fields – remember that Thailand is an agricultural country.

This is done by floating candle-lit krathong (small exquisitely-crafted banana leaf trays) down waterways. The krathong can either be made or purchased – it is then taken down to the river or canal banks and carefully set afloat. Some people make a wish, some people place small change in it. This is a request for good luck to come or bad luck to be taken (floated) away.

What is more memorable is the beauty pageants, which are part of the Loy Krathong festivities, where local lasses dress in traditional dress to vie for the title of  “Miss Nophamas”.


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