Sunday 25 November 2007

Loy Kratong 2007

This years Loy Kratong was a good festival.

At last, it's November's Full Moon and time for this years Loy Kratong. We celebrated at Wat Plai Laem, which is rather unusual, since all other years it has been celebrated locally at Big Buddha. There always was an entrance fee at big Buddha however and now the Chaweng lake is in place, where no entrance is charged, Chaweng Lake grew overnight in popularity and Big Buddha has now been replaced by an entrance free Wat Plai Laem. Big Buddha and Wat Plai Laem are 'run' by the same monks.

This is the Kratong that my 5 year old daughter made at school, with some help of her teacher.

Traditionally the Kratongs are made of a section of the banana trunk but was recently replaced by foam, which caused damage to the environment. Now most Kratongs are again made of banana trunk or bread. It's the second successive year that they had Kratongs made out of bread at the local temple, like these in the picture, for 50,-Baht each.

We had my daughter's Kratong this year and a bread version for our 2 and a half year old son.

At the lake surrounding Wat Plai Laem are hundreds of fish, mainly cat fish and they are an attraction in itself. They obviously love the bread made Kratong but still tried to eat all other Kratongs, as you can clearly see in this picture where they are chasing our daughters Kratong.

This is our sons bread made Kratong, being chased down by dozens of catfish.

The temple had plenty of visitors early on. At around 7pm when we arrived it was already full and there was a blessing ceremony for the King followed by a money offering event which happened at Big Buddha about which I will report later.
This photo shows some of the many dozens of Kratongs floating at the temple lake.

This year also saw the traditional beauty contest and dancing by local school girls but I missed out on these events this year and went home early.


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