Every year, on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month of traditional Thai lunar calendar, November, Thai people ( and now us - farangs as well) celebrate a beautiful experience of Loi Krathong - probably the most picturesque and beautiful of all Thai celebrations.
The most popular version of the origin of this celebration is that it was an expression of gratitude to the goddess of water 'Phra Mae Kongka' for having extensively used and polluted the water from the rivers and canals. ( And the sea in Samui's case :-)
To say it in short - first we make (or buy, which is much easier for us) a beautiful krathong. Today we actually had the one which our son Jake made in nursery :-)
Originally, the krathong was made of banana leaves or the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A krathong contains food, betel nuts, flowers, joss sticks, candle and coins. Nowadays kratongs are much more creative as many more materials are available.
In the evening we go to the sea or lake, and let it go, making wishes and asking for forgiveness....
Tonight we went to the most popular gathering place in Samui for Loi Krathong - Chaweng Lake. This year the lake was extremely busy, it took us 20 minutes to find a parking spot. Last year we had flood, and it wasn't a very joyful event, but this year, with all this amazing weather we are having in Samui, thousands of people came today to the Chaweng Lake to celebrate this beautiful festival, so it was totally overcrowded.
So, you need to light the candles and the incense sticks, make a wish and let it float away with the current of a river or a sea, hoping that the candle will not go out. Its flame is said to signify fulfillment of wishes and release from sins.
Ok, our flame went off about 10 seconds after I let it go, so no sins were forgiven this time I guess...Never mind, there is always another year :-) :-) :-)
Still, a very beautiful celebration!!! Now - pictures time :-)
Jake is watching intensively his krathong floating away :-)
Meanwhile, up above thousands of lanterns are floating into the night sky. These large balloon-like lanterns are released in the hope that misfortune flies away with them. Hope so :-)
We got one as well :-) Happy Loi Krathong, everyone!!!!!!