Loi Krathong, Why I Celebrated This Year
Loi Krathong is celebrates during the full moon of the 12th month in the lunar Calendar, this year it was on the 25th November, next year it will be on 15th November. Loi Krathong is used to pay respect, show appreciation and apologize to the Goddess of Water. Any bad feelings people have can be washed away and let go of. When launching the krathong you can wish for anything, and if your candle stays lit until it disappears from view you are believed to be blessed with good luck.
Why I Celebrated This Year
I pretty much neglected this festival for years mainly due to not having anyone to celebrate it with and hated the fact that a lot people made the base of the krathong out of Styrofoam. However this year was different. Thailand has made a lot of efforts to educate people on the dangers to the environment from using styrofoam.
My friend Kik asked me to join her to celebrate Loi Krathong. It is fun to celebrate a Thai tradition with a friend. We decided to go to Chatuchak Park near Mo Chit BTS. The road beside the park was filled with many sellers of the Krathong, we were spoilt for choice. Sizes varied from stall to stall and they were priced from 50 Baht to 300 Baht. We bought our Krathong’s for 50 Baht each and went to the lake side to pray and launch our Krathongs.
This year I was happy that the krathongs for sale were made from all natural materials. To make it float the base is made from a trunk of a banana tree. The old style of making a krathong consisted of a trunk of a banana tree as the base, banana tree leaves to cover the base and create the outside crown, flowers to decorate, incense and a candle to light. This is the best way as most of this is biodegradable, and the candles and incense will burn.
How To Make A Krathong
If your interested to make your own krathong, here is a video
We were not the only people at the park, this seemed to be a popular place as there were many people lined all across the lake, fortunately it only takes around one minute to go lake side, pray, launch your krathong and go.
Lighting the candle and incense was near to impossible because of a strong wind coming from across the lake which was preventing anyone from lighting their candles and incense, there were a few in the lake already lit but most of the Krathongs were without light or the ember from the incense, I guess most people had given up after a few times of trying to light them.
Me and Kik went to the lake side, squatted next to the lake, Kik went first. She prayed and launched her Krathong into the water. I asked what she prayed for. She told me “I prayed that the bad things (I found or had done) are floating with krathong and good things will come to me; good health, wealth, happiness, to find good people in my life, and for good thing to happen for my family too.”
What Was I Thinking About?
While squatting down by the lake with the krathong in my hands I used this time to reflect instead of pray. I reflected on everything that happened in the past year, the good and the bad. Sometimes just taking a backseat and stepping back from everything that is going on, you can see things a bit more clearer. This year I had made stronger relationships with friends, achieved a lot, failed a lot, learnt a lot of lesson, and had also made me realise that I need to set some goals.
Even though I didn’t use Loi Krathong for its traditional value I believe I used it in an effective way in a way for helping me to realise that I need to change certain things in my life. I feel that I can constantly improve and modify things to become a better me.