Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rao Bpaai Loi Kratong Laeo? Ka!

Koop Kheun Ka Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water for such a beautiful holiday.  Every year Thailand celebrates the festival, "Loi Kratong" in appreciation of the Goddess of Water.  "Loi" means "to float" and "kratong" is a raft/boat made out of banana leaves and adorned with flowers, candles, and incense.  

In order to honor the Goddess, thank her for prosperity, and perhaps making a new wish, you light the candles and the incense and let the "kratong" "loi" in the water.  Some people put their Kratongs in rivers, others in large ponds or fountains.  

This tradition can be celebrated as a couple or as a family/friends.  If two lovers go together, they set their "kratongs" (boats) in the water together and at the same time.  If their kratongs float together then they are meant to be; however if their kratongs drift apart then then they it means their relationship will eventually end.
My students were excited about this holiday and kept asking me, "M'am, are you going to the klong with your boyfriend?"  (klong= river).  To which I would laugh and say "No, I do not have a boyfriend--"  "Oh, well it's ok M'am, you can find one there!"  

So yes, I lit my candle, and my incense, --- and I even made a wish as I set my kratong in the fountain/pond at Queen's Park (Suan Ben) and I enjoyed partaking in such a beautiful holiday with my new friends... watching the kratongs light up the dark evening sky.

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