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Friday, 7 November 2014

Loy Kratong 2014 on Koh Samui

Here's an impression of my Loy Kratong yesterday at Phru Chaweng or Chaweng lake yesterday.
All the family went to float the kratongs and it was busy but fun.

Big Loy Kratong in Central Festival

A very big Kratong on display at Central Festival

First some background information on this Buddhist festival;
The origins of Loy Kratong have been traced to Sukhothai, but, more recently, it has been argued it is actually an invention from the Bangkok period, According to the writings of H.M. King Rama IV, in 1863 the originally Brahmanical festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honor the original Buddha. 

Kratong made out of ice cones

Very original and colorful kratongs made out of ice cones for sale at Central Festival

'Loy' means to float and a 'kratong' is a floating object. In the case of Loy Kratong, this typically is a slice of a banana trunk that is decorated with elaborately folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. 
Thai people also add some cut off hair and fingernails and 9 Thai Baht to the kratong and float them off in a river, lake or the ocean as a way of letting go of the bad in them and they believe that the festival will bring good luck.

Platform at Chaweng Lake

A busy platform at Chaweng Lake to put the kratongs in the water

Nowadays it;s also common to lit the so called hot air balloons, but I'm not a big fan of these, since they have two iron parts that are not very environmental friendly and every time I conduct a clean up at Chaweng Beach we find dozens of these hot air balloon frames.

Busy at Phru Chaweng

Phru Chaweng was busy yesterday evening

This brings me also to the kratongs and the materials they are made of. Traditionally banana trunks and other natural products are used, which is good, Alternatives are kratongs made out of bread or as shown in the second picture of this article, creative ideas like suing ice scones. They will hardly any detrimental impact on the environment.
The last picture of this article gives you an idea what we're dealing with around the country.

Hot air balloon

One of the many hot air balloons being released during Loy Kratong

As the pictures show, it was busy but enjoyable and there was a big fair along the waterside and all around Phru Chaweng. Many food stalls and attractions similar to a typical temple fair and lots of attractions for kids could be found.


Part of the fair, a motor bicycle making it's rounds

One attraction that stood out was the motor cycle driving around in a cubicle, partly without hands and partly just inches away from your face. All not as stable as we may be sued in the West with all it's regulations but fun to see such an 'old fashioned; fair attraction again.

The day after

Chaweng lake the day after

Hope you had your fun yesterday during the Loy Kratong festivities on Samui or around Thailand.

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