Loi Krathong Festival
Magical Night at the Chao Prayah River: The Loi Krathong Festival 2013.
Nestling myself into the corner of the pier overlooking the Chao Prayah river I am awaiting a annual spectacle. A night of fireworks, celebration and fantastic floating lightshows.
Here tonight in Bangkok there is a symphony of noise, much more than the usual. Fireworks and music take over the skies and the airwaves. Colours and smells saturating your senses.
This is the Loi Krathong Festival (ลอยกระทง).
Loi Krathong, also known as Loi Kratong and Loy Kratong, is a colourful festival held annually on the full moon of the twelfth month of the Thai Lunar Calendar.
The festival has been a tradition in Thailand celebrated mainly at night to show the beautifully crafted little Krathongs floating down the river. Using banana trunk, lotus and bread to make these beautiful Krathongs, people will then put candle, incense sticks and flowers in a Krathong. Before setting their offering and prayers of good luck, health and forgiveness on a journey upriver.
Not just seeing thousands of beautiful and delicate hand made Krathongs, we cast our gaze at the sky to witness hundreds of illuminated lanterns floating delicately over the cityscape on their journey, sending away the people's prayers and wishes.
Illuminated boats light up the river sending a multicoloured burnish to the sheen of the water. Their procession and music is blasted out to attract peoples attention to them and away from the beauty contest being held nearby.
Everyone is out for this not-to-be-missed event, from the religious, photographers, tourists to families with their children, who's eyes are wide open in astonishment, wonder and sense of joining in.
Magical is what I have written to describe this fun occasion and it is, very much so. I have rarely seen an event like this without there being Walt Disney characters waving frantically with background music blaring away "The Bear Necessities" Although the festivities are very popular, it is very easy to get a view of the proceedings and it's very easy to join in.
I think my British side of me is coming out as I am writing this. One of my favourite aspects of this fantastic November festival, so little in comparison as it is to everything else, is to hear myself think... "I don't need gloves and a coat"