Loy Krathong 2015
Loy Krathong is usually described as the Thai equivalent of Saint Valentine’s Day, which is true in that it is the day of lovers. Loy Krathong in 2015 was yesterday, November 25th. I say that, because it is always in November, but it is moveable, like Easter, depending on the full moon. The translation is ‘launching boats’, not as many believe, ‘millions of boats’. The misunderstanding comes about because of Thai’s tonal language and foreigners arrogance, thinking that they understand Thai.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, as the saying goes.
It is one of Thailand’s most popular holidays, along with the old Thai New Year in April.
Both of these holidays attract millions of visitors every year.
However, I don’t see any of that because I live in a small village. The cities, especially those that draw tourists, such as the seaside resorts, put on spectacles and many of the staff wear traditional costume for the day, in much the same way as Welsh school children do in Wales on St. David’s Day.
However, yesterday was a first for our village, because the Wat – the village Buddhist Temple – had created a pond and ‘river’ for the occasion.
You see, loving couples make or buy krathong, boats, which they traditionally launch into the river. If the boats (cross-sections of banana trees) stay together, it ‘means that the couple will stay together for another year.
Attendance is compulsory for married or courting men of all ages and even young girls who don’t have boyfriends will take part, hoping to find a partner, for as the krathongs are placed in the river, you are allowed a wish, if you keep it secret.
Loy Krathong is a lovely old traditional Thai festival, and I urge you to have a look next November.
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All the best.
Podcast: Loy Krathong 2015