Only Planet

One Child, One Year, One Planet. A family of three traveling around the world...

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Phuket Thailand: Loi Krathong

Happy New Year from Thailand! As in most Asian countries, the new year traditionally begins in Thailand at the start of a new moon. For the Thais, the moon that signals the new year is when the rice harvest is in, the works stops and they can party. This usually falls in November, an earlier time than for the Chinese or Vietnamese whose new year usually begins in February.

In Thailand they celebrate the new year in the most beautiful manner, by floating krathongs (pronounced kra-TAWNG) on the water and sending their prayers and wishes with them. A krathong is a lotus-shaped vessel that is made with a banana tree stem, covered with palm fronds and decorated with orchids. They carry a candle, three joss sticks, a few coins, and a piece of the bearer’s hair or fingernails to ensure that the gods know who wants the wish.

Loey and Dylan showing off the krathongs they made

The Thais say if the candle burns down and the krathong is still floating your wish will come true. I certainly hope so, since mine successfully launched, because I wished for a continued safe journey. Although I’m not certain, my guess is that Dylan probably wished for a rat.


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