Loy Krathong

There’s been a definite change in the weather in the last couple of days – the constant thunderstorms and rains of the previous few weeks have finally come to a halt, the sun’s out, and it’s perceptibly cooler. We must be getting close to those couple of weeks every year that pass for a cool season here.

One surefire marker of the change of season is the Loy Krathong festival, held on a full moon in (usually) November. A krathong is a float made out of a dinner-plate sized slice of banana plant stem, decorated with flowers, banana leaves and candles. You can make them yourself, but a lot of enterprising Thai kids make them and sell them on the streets to earn a bit of extra pocket money. When night falls, the Thais go down to the nearest beach, river, lake or pond, light the candles on their krathong, and send it out onto the water along with all their troubles.

(It’s usual to put a very small sum of money onto the krathong as well. If you look out to sea you can sometimes see people retrieving the money from the used krathongs. Oh well – waste not, want not!)

We like Loy Krathong: it’s a gentle, peaceful festival – unlike the other big Thai celebration, Songkran, which in recent years has degenerated into a very raucous affair. Loy Krathong is the yin to Songkran’s yang.

You can read more about both Loy Krathong and Songkran here:
Fly Me To The Crescent Moon

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About Dave

Dave was bitten by the expat bug at the age of 13 when he went to live in Germany. Since leaving school at the age of 30 (with a doctorate in something so obscure even he can't remember what it's about) he's also lived in Bangladesh, India and Thailand, and travelled to most European countries (including several that don't exist any more, though he denies responsibility), as well as Barbados, South Korea, St Vincent, UAE, Laos, and many more.

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