Celebrants encouraged to use only natural materials for krathongs
This year’s Loy Krathong Festival in Pattaya, the most romantic night on the Thai calendar, falls on Thursday, November 10.
The entire Kingdom will be celebrating, with most everyone going to the water’s edge to loy (float) their krathong.
Locally the city organized festivities will be centered at Naklua Public Park. Scheduled events include a young Miss Noppamas contest and a krathong making competition, which emphasizes that only krathongs using all natural material that will easily biodegrade, will be eligible to enter.
The krathong contest will begin at 1 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. with judging at 6:30 p.m. It will be divided into 2 categories, one for beauty and the second for creativity, and 3 divisions, junior, senior and general population. Winners could win as much as 10,000 baht.
Loy Krathong this year falls on Thursday, November 10. (Photo courtesy Nong Nooch Tropical Garden)
Interested contestants can contact the Education Institute Pattaya City, telephone number 038-253-100 ext. 3327, during working hours for further information.
The official opening ceremony will begin around 8 p.m. on the main stage in Naklua, followed by a country music concert by Sunaree Rachaseema and Jakjan Wanwisa.
Since it is such a revered holiday, and since half the kingdom is now underwater, expect the currently large influx of people currently flowing into the resort to get even bigger. This will most likely cause a lot amount of traffic, so please plan ahead should you choose to drive anywhere this coming week.
A bit of history
According to the history written by King Mongkut in 1863, the Loy Krathong festival has its roots in ancient Brahmin culture, going back some 700 years. The spirits of the river were given offerings which were sailed in the river in small boats (krathongs) and in this way the owner of the krathong would gain absolution. This was a Brahmin belief.
The small boats fashioned by the beautiful and talented Nang Noppamas, the daughter of a Brahmin priest and wife of King Phra Ruang, were notable for their construction and beauty. It was this king who then dedicated the krathong to the memory of the Buddha, and decreed that the event would be called Loy Krathong and that it should become an annual celebration to commemorate the skill and beauty of his consort. In this way he lifted it out of Brahmin culture and installed it into the accepted Buddhist way of life. This is the reason that the krathongs now carry three incense sticks representing the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
During the Loy Krathong Festival, people decorate their krathong with flowers, joss sticks and candles which will then sail away, taking with them bad health, bad luck and unhappiness.
Lanterns are well-known symbols in the Loy Krathong Festival, too, being used to decorate houses and temples in worship of the guardian spirits. There are four kinds of lantern used in the festival: the hand-held rabbit lantern, the hot air balloon lantern (kom loy), the hanging lantern for religious worship, and the spin lantern installed at the temples. The belief in lanterns is that the lights inside compare with the wisdom the people will gain in the next life.
This Thursday, invite your girlfriend, boyfriend, family members and/or significant other to buy or create a krathong, then visit the nearest seashore, lake or river and float away your worries.