LOY KRATHONG

Today we were able to participate in a very special event related to the moon: 

One of the most picturesque festivals in Thailand is the evening of Loy Krathong, when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water. Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky. 

How auspicious to do this on a night when the moon is closest to the earth in decades! 

We got this lovely float at the market - it is made onto a piece of banana trunk.

We got this lovely float at the market - it is made onto a piece of banana trunk.

Preparing the float with our hotel manager Nid. All three of us put in some hair, a piece of nail and also money. 

Preparing the float with our hotel manager Nid. All three of us put in some hair, a piece of nail and also money. 

Ready to go. 

Ready to go. 

Going to the river. Amazing full moon at the top. 

Going to the river. Amazing full moon at the top. 

Almost there. 

Almost there. 

And here is the river! A constant flow of people were going to the steps to release their floats. 

And here is the river! A constant flow of people were going to the steps to release their floats. 

You are meant to make a wish before you release the float, and thank the river for all it is giving us and also apologize if we have hurt the river in any way. This lady is praying with her yellow float.

You are meant to make a wish before you release the float, and thank the river for all it is giving us and also apologize if we have hurt the river in any way. This lady is praying with her yellow float.

We sat down and each of us chose our wish. They were heartfelt. Then we lit the candle and the three insence sticks. 

We sat down and each of us chose our wish. They were heartfelt. Then we lit the candle and the three insence sticks. 

And there it goes, with all our gratitude and wishes. 

And there it goes, with all our gratitude and wishes. 

And then as we were walking back, a uniformed gentleman stopped Dante and asked if he spoke English. We said yes and suddenly a big number of uniformed people surrounded us and another gentleman introduced himself and said he was 'the chief of this region'. We did not know if he meant the Phang Nga province or the Takua Pa region, but it was obvious he was a big dignitary. He asked us where we were from and if we were enjoying our stay, where we were staying and when we were going back to Canada. He was surprised to hear we were on such a long trip and also said if we needed anything we should just contact him through any of the local authorities. We got photographed and Dante says our pictures may end up in local newspapers. 

I wanted to have a photo of him as well for this blog, and even though we were in a little bit of a dim spot, it did work out. He is standing right next to me in this picture.

We felt so welcomed and respected by his interest in us.  

With the director of the region!

With the director of the region!