Loy Krathong 2016, Patong
Loy Krathong is the name of a festival which is celebrated all over Thailand in November.
Loy Krathong is celebrated on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month according to the traditional Thai solar calendar called Patithin Suriyakhati. This is Thailands version of the Gregorian calendar which replaced Patithin Chanthrakhati, the traditional Thai calendar until 1888 AD, for legal and commercial reasons. The exact date varies every year. In 2016 it was held on the 14th of November; while in 2015 the festival was celebrated on the 25th of November; in 2017 it will return on the 4th of November. It is simultaneously celebrated in parts of Myanmar, Malaysia and Laos.
The name Loy Krathong, sometimes also spelt Loi Krathong, can be loosely translated into “to float a basket”. It is the tradition to create an individual Krathong or a beautifully decorated floating basket which, together with a candle and incense, is then released into the water.
The Royal Institute Dictionary from 1999 states that the term “koi” is translated into “to float”; and Krathong, beside many other meaning variations, can be used in the context of “a small container made of leaves to be floated on water during Loy Krathong festival”. The Krathong itself is made of a banana tree trunk slice or the Spider Lilly plant (a plant belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family). Besides this more traditional bases, it can also be made out of bread. The biodegradable banana based Krathong and it’s bread cousin disintegrate in the water a few days after they were launched.
The Krathong set floating in the water of rivers, ponds and ocean are sent off with the the owner wishes while paying respect to the water spirits and asking for forgiveness and blessings.
While the festival is usually accompanied by fireworks, Krathong processions, Miss Krathong pageant and live entertainment; this year’s event turned out to be a more subdued and inward celebration due to the fact that the Thai nation is still in mourning from the passing of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
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