Saturday, November 26, 2011

Full Moon Festival - Loi Kratong

Every year when the full moon falls in Nov there is a major holiday in Thailand, called Loi Kratong, or also called Yee Ping in north. This festival pays tribute to the moon and to the river or water.
To celebrate, the Chief of Huay Pakoot invited GVI volunteers to participate. Every homestay made floating lanterns for their volunteers. Some were made of melons, others bananas, but all were decorated with flowers, incense, and candles. The floating lanterns serve to get rid of all the bad luck from the previous year. Added to the lanterns were a few baht and a little snip of hair.

After the lanterns were made, the Chief walked volunteers up to the temple where other villagers were congregating to take part in the celebrations. There was a brief blessing from the monk at the village temple and then we all walked to the small lake that sits at the top of the village. The incense and candles were lit and the lanterns were placed in the water and floated into the lake. It was absolutely beautiful to watch all the ornately decorated lanterns float around in the water. We are very grateful to the chief for all his help organizing this event.