Loi Krathong 2009

For Loi Krathong this year we went out with some of the Thais and some visitors from the US. Loi Krathong or the festival of lights is one of the biggest Thai festivals of the year. Everyone gathers around rivers and waterways to float their krathong (small boat made from banana leaves and decorated with flowers and candles) as they offer prayers to the “mother of the river” and offer merit to the other spirits. Read our post from our first year here to see the Christian redemption of this holiday.

We went to the main river in Bangkok to watch the fireworks and take a boat ride up and down the river watching the lights all around. When the boat turned around, everyone put their krathongs in the water. We just looked on enjoying the Thai culture. On days like this, we realize how many people really are in Bangkok.

It is interesting to note that Global Warming is even effecting how Thais celebrate holidays. This year, the Prime Minister asked every family to float only one krathong to cut down on the leftover debris in the river. Also, you could buy krathongs made out of bread so that they would turn into fish food (which would be a good merit making thing) and not trash up the river. The King’s krathong was made from bread to help lead the way for the nation.