Festival, Sukhothai — 7 November 2014 15 h 54 min

History of Loy Krathong

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History of Loy Krathong

A crowd with flickering light of candles and color of flowers decorating floating object

is familiar scene in a celebration occurring in a twelfth month in lunar calendar.

It is one of wonderful Asian cultures when rivers and canals are full of water. Since we have been a kid, I guess everyone must be impressed

with this festive occasion in November – Loy Krathong. Most of us are convinced that floating objects

or Krathongs are originated in Sukhothai by Tao Sri Chulalak or Nang Noppamas, who was one of Phra Ruang’s wives.

History of Loy Krathong

However, some assert that the story was written in the reign of Rama III merely to advocate women

on role model of a good wife, as no evidence is found to prove the festival’s existence.

They believe that Loy Krathong has just been celebrated since the end of Ayutthaya.

Despite the confusing history, this gracious culture is still alive. People still conducts this ritual not only to worship

the footprint of the Buddha on a riverside in India, but also to pay respect to Chulamanee Chedi in heaven.

History of Loy Krathong

Another well-known purpose is to show their gratitude to the Goddess of the Water

on their plentiful use of water and ask for forgiveness in the ensuing pollution.

Moreover, many people believe that floating the beautiful Krathong away also refers to flying away misfortune

and bad things in the past and asking for good luck in the future.

In the past, people in Lanna Kingdom in the north of Thailand also show respect to rivers, but they use fire instead.

They float a lantern like a hot-air balloon in the sky which is called Yee Peng.

History of Loy Krathong

And now we still can find this celebration in Chiang Mai. Interestingly, people other than Thais have the similar tradition.

Not far from us, Laos float Pratips (or our Krathong) and Lai Rue Fai (or flowing an ablaze boat) in worship of Water Goddess.

This rite is also used to welcome the Buddha after His return from preaching to His mother in the second heaven.

In Cambodia, this period is called Ok Ambok which means worshipping the moon.

History of Loy Krathong

They float Pratips on a full moon night as well. Another neighboring country as Burma has the same culture.

They float Krathong to worship the Buddha and Nut or household spirit. Looking upward farther, some of us may be surprised that Vietnam,

Korea and Japan have the similar rituals too. They apologize the Water Goddess and float away ill fortune.

It is assumed that the origin is Mahayana Buddhism which was expanded from China.

On the other hand, Indians claim that they are the root of this ceremony derived from Brahmin.

This festival is aimed to worship Naraya God who sleeps in the milk ocean and He then will throw our sin away.

History of Loy Krathong

In Thailand, people enjoy creating their own Krathong made from natural resources, such as leaves and trunks of banana adorned with flowers.

Some might use bread instead of synthetic materials showing their concern for environment. Other than flowers, a candle and incense sticks,

we often put some coins or betel pepper and nut in our Krathongs.

And that’s why our Krathongs can’t drift any further as they are raided for little money.

Nevertheless, Loy Krathong Festival remains the most romantic and favorite occasion for a number of people and still best represents our gratitude.

History of Loy Krathong

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