All my bags are packed and I am ready to go…
I am just a few hours away from catching the flight to Thailand, one of my favorite countries. I absolutely dig their food, their culture and of course the magical nature of this amazing South East Asian nation. This time around, I have been invited by the Thailand tourism board to come and experience one of their famous festivals called Loi Krathong, their festival of lights.
Do not confuse this festival of lights with our Deepavali festival. Instead, it is similar to Karthik Poornima, a festival that is celebrated with lamps all over the country and especially more so in the South. In Tamil Nadu, where I originate from, the Karthikai month (lunar month after Deepavali) is celebrated with lamps and lots of light all through the festival. Similarly, Loi Krathong is celebrated with lights. In certain parts of Thailand, they celebrate it with the floating lanterns (which you might have experienced at Chiang Mai during New Year’s Eve). While this is more popular in the northern part of Thailand and these floating lanterns are called Khom Loi, the festival is celebrated in a slightly different way in the South, where I am headed. In northern Thailand, this festival is called Yi Peng and in the South, it is referred to as Loi Krathong. ‘Loi Krathong’, loosely translates into ‘to float a basket’.
Here, people take floating devices and decorate it with plantain leaves, flowers, incense sticks and a small lamp. A small piece of hair from the body is kept in this decorated floating device and is let to float in the river. These small floating beacons of light are believed to wipe away all negative energies or sins. This event happens on the night of full moon, which coincides with India’s Karthik Poornima and is believed to be an offering to the river spirits. And like all festivals of Thailand, Loi Krathong too comes with its glamour and fanfare. There are lots of traditions to see, colourful clothes, tasty food and in overall lots of happiness.
I celebrated this festival with the people of Bangkok three years back and absolutely loved the delicious food, the fun and frolic and the opportunity to understand and experience the Thai culture at depth. 3 years later, I am again super excited to be a part of this festival. This time to Sampran Riverside, Nakhon Pathom, Amphawa and Bangkok. As always, I can’t wait to treat myself to some delicious festival Thai food, while soaking in this rich festival.
If you wish to know more about this festival, follow my updates on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels where I will be sharing live updates. More on the blog once I return to Bangalore from Thailand, which should be in a week’s time.