My first Loy Krathong Festival!

I’ve always wanted to let off my own lantern, and I finally got to do it this week at the Loy Krathong festival in Thailand. Living here for 8 months, I’ve heard so much about this amazing festival, Thai’s look forward to it all year! It’s a festival that happens every year on the date of the full moon, in the 12th month of the Thai Lunar calendar. This year it was on the 25th November but the festival lasts for 3 days.

My first experience was just incredible, I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, it was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had!

Starting off at school on Tuesday 24th. We made our very own krathongs (flower and vegetable  baskets made with banana trees, which are put in the river to say thank you to all the water spirits in Thailand.) It was loads of fun, sitting all the kids down and giving them all the materials to make the krathongs. My class are only six years old, so we gave them ice-cream cones to makes theirs, so it’s food for the fish too!

12310662_10153458011916713_6425831296388429395_n

 

After, we had a traditional Thai ceremony with children doing dances to the Loy Krathong traditional song. Of course I took part too, all dressed in my Northern Thai attire!

After school, I went to the Ping river, which runs right through Chiang Mai! There was loads of people selling their own Krathongs along with sparklers (so we didn’t miss out on our bonfire night at home!), it was a  lovely atmosphere. Had to bend right over into the river to let my krathong go, holding on tight so I didn’t fall in! Stopped to watch a traditional Thai parade in the city too!

12313983_10153458012846713_5557673495623114516_n

On the 25th was the much anticipated mass lantern release at Mae Jo University. Inside the Uni, you had to pay $100, we decided to stay outside and watch with hundreds of local Thais!

12313966_10153458101681713_7426274616691188720_n     12278898_10153458101781713_4596230249839502536_n

Letting our lanterns off was an amazing experience although challenging at first. One had a hole in so we had to throw it in the river before it caused a huge fire, but the others worked great!

12311140_10153458101011713_8969205333178185998_n

At 9pm, the mass lantern release was due. We patiently saved our last and biggest lantern ready for the release. Almost immediately after letting it go, we heard to crowds cheering and looked up to the most incredible sight I’ve seen! Thousands and thousands of lanterns released into the sky at the exact same time, shining bright with the huge full moon in the background. The atmosphere taking them in one direction, it looked magnificent! If you’re ever planning to be in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong, go to Mae Jo uni, its a must see! (and don’t pay for those tickets as its just as incredible if not more outside, from the view we had!)

11202608_10153458102471713_8362492949299982567_n

12311317_10153458102641713_7825049504104885356_n

Midway through the lantern release, we were surprised by a huge array of fireworks, literally blowing the lanterns to pieces in the process, a sight worth seeing that’s for sure!

12289755_10153458102791713_4302662207959872862_n

Don’t miss out on Loy Krathong next year, along with the lantern launch of Yee Peng! Definitely worth planning your trip around, just remember the actual date in November changes every year!

Follow me on twitter for more  Tefl_abroad

or like my facebook page Tefl travels abroad for more about my life teaching in Thailand!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s