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Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Loy Kratong 2015

Today is Loy Kratong 2015 ลอยกระทง around Thailand and it's one of the biggest Buddhist events around the country.
The name can be translated as "to float a basket", and comes from the tradition of making a krathong or rather a buoyant and decorated basket, which are then floated on a river, a lake or on Koh Samui, into the ocean.

 A 'loi' (ลอย) means "to float", while krathong (กระทง) has various meanings, one of which is "a basket to be floated on water in the Loi Krathong festival". Several translations of krathong can be found, such as "floating crown", "floating boat" or "floating decoration". The traditional krathong are made from a slice of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or Styrofoam. 
The advantage with bread is that it will disintegrate and can be eaten by fish. Styrofaom is a different problem altogether.

The Loy Kratong event takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the Western calendar this usually falls in November. This year it's today, next year it will be 15th November 2016.

The traditional Loy Kratong song

This is one of the few Loy Kratong celebrations during which I'm outside of the country. I've been in Khao Lak a few times during Loy Kratong, so I cloud participate in and enjoy the general local festivities. However, this year I find myself back in the Philippines, and being a Catholic country, there's no Loy Kratong to be found here.

It's always a great event to witness and if you're on Koh Samui today, enjoy your Loy Kratong 2015 event. The best place (and most busy one as well) will probably be at Chaweng Lake or Phru Chaweng. Some of the temples around the island may also have activities planned. Be prepared for heavy traffic and parking problems.

I do hope you enjoy your Loy Kratong 2015 event, where ever you are in Thailand.

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