Thursday, November 29, 2012

Celebrating Loy Krathong in Bangkok

'Loy' literally means 'to float,' while 'kratong' refers to the lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water.

We started by taking the bus over to the flower market of Bangkok to see the making of the flower and dough floating vessels that are used to float away your problems in the loy krathong ceremony. From there we stumbled upon a parade honoring the yearly event of dancers, musicians, and others dressed in native Thai clothing. Very beautiful.

Near the end of the parade that took place around the hospital that the King of Thailand resides in, the rain started pouring down. Everyone raced into an open lobby next to a food court, where the musicians and dancers performed.

From there we went along the river to watch the decorated barges float by, and across the river by ferry to the Temple of the Dawn, which was full of people watching the entertainment and dancing on a stage, floating their vessels of Loy Krathong into the water, and launching their hot air lanterns into the sky.

It was good to see the culturally historical clothing, dance, and music of the Thailand of yesterday, of the importance of the waterways in the history of Bangkok, and how it is appreciated and celebrated today in honoring their own tradition.

(photographs by Randy Magnus)

(Special thanks to Michael Khan of Wat Suthat for showing me around)

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