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The Moon.

Enjoy the spectacular Loy Krathong festival in Thailand
30 Jul 2014

Loy Krathong festival is a spectacular event celebrated throughout Thailand around November, and should not be missed by people visiting south-east Asia during this time of year.

“Loy” means “to float” in Thai, while “Krathong” is a small raft traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. During the night of the full moon, many people will float these tiny rafts, decorated with candles and other ornamentation, on a river or other bodies of water.

Thai people believe that floating a raft in a river pays honour and respect to the goddess of water. Furthermore, it is also intended to apologise to her for the bad things humans have done to the river over the past year - hence why it is held near the end of the year.

Depending on where you are in Thailand, there are different events held. Large organisations tend to join in by creating big, spectacularly-decorated rafts, and there are plenty of raft competitions which rank the creations based on their beauty and craftsmanship.

The festival is a big deal for locals, and there are also other events that surround the raft floating, including beauty contents and fireworks.

People interested in learning more about the history of this beautiful festival will be interested to hear that it is thought it originated as a Buddhist tradition.

In 1863, the original Brahmanical festival was adopted by Thai Buddhists as a ceremony designed to honour the original Buddha - Siddhartha Guatama.

The candle on the raft was to venerate the Buddha with light, and the act of floating the raft away is meant to symbolise letting go of all of one’s grudges and anger, enabling people to go forward in life on the right foot.

To further this, some people cut their fingernails and hair, and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of themselves. This tradition is believed to bring good luck.ADNFCR-408-ID-801738714-ADNFCR

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