Last week I was in Thailand, which is still one of my favourite holiday destinations. That week was the Loi Krathong festival, which is an annually celebrated festival in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar. It takes place on the evening of the full moon in the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, which is different from the calender we use. The word 'loi' means to float, and although the word 'krathong' has several meanings, it mostly means floating boat or decoration. The krathong is a decoration made for that evening and includes banana leaves, flowers, candles, and most importantly: a piece of one of your nails and a piece of your hair. This is to please the gods and to pray for good luck for you and your family.
The festival is a celebration of the spirits and an important part of the Thai culture. I talked to several Thai people in the village we were staying, and they were all very excited to celebrate the festival at night. I always enjoy talking to local people to understand their culture, heritage and art. It is wonderful to see that we all live on one planet, yet we have different values, ideas and traditions. In the end, I believe it is worth understanding each others' culture, so that we can tolerate and respect what others believe in.
A piece of Thai culture and traditions, but I hope not one of the last. See you hopefully soon again Thailand!
WHO: People from Thailand/Malaysia/Laos/Myanmar
WHAT: Loi Krathong festival