Floating Away on Loy Krathong Festival Day

 This year, I went to Nadoon’s Loy Khrathong festival celebration with two of my teacher friends, Pi Pi and Preem. We made our floats together, and they walked me through everything I needed to do so that my wish would be granted. Usually, people release their candle-lit krathongs at night so they can light up the waterway. But this year, the festival happened to overlap with a lunar eclipse. According to Pi Pi, that is very bad luck! So, we released our krathong before sunset to avoid any bad luck we might have gotten from the moon. 

Thai culture has a lot of stories and superstitions like this. Take, for example, the night of Loy Khrathong when the moon turned bright red because of a lunar eclipse. My friend Preem said it was because a giant had sucked the moon up into his mouth like a gumball. After the eclipse ended, she said the giant had spit the moon back out because he thought it tasted bad. Thank goodness!

Besides releasing the krathong, there were a lot else going on to celebrate the special occasion. A big market full of vendors popped up next to the pond where the floats were. The stalls sold everything from floats to food to t-shirts and toys. There was also a huge stage with a live concert where they showed traditional Isan music and dancing and held a beauty pageant. There was even a huge bouncy house and some games. It reminded me a bit of Jesse James Days in Northfield, but in Thailand!

Why does the community have this tradition?:

Loy Khrathong festival happens every year in Thailand, and celebrations happen all across the country. The holiday itself shows how Hindu and Buddhist beliefs have blended together in Thailand to create the unique religious practices that people have here.