You can read this post in : French
Twelfth full moon of the year, this is time to celebrate Loy Krathong, this event comes from Hinduism on the river Gange’s banks, to honor Brahma, Shiva and Vishnou and Ganga, the divine of water. This custom was imported and altered in the 13th century, in Thailand, to Sukkothai’s kingdom, to celebrate Buddha.
Now, the whole country takes part to it. In Chiang Mai, it also brings more tourists and to some extent, being so grand and excessif, thousands of people. Thais and Farengs buy their Krathong and let them go on the river Ping going trough the town. The Krathong, in the old days, was a small boat made from a banana tree trunk in which they used to put candles. Nowadays, it’s made of banana tree leaves, folded, and flowers, 3 incense sticks and a candle. Letting off one’s Krathong is also a symbolic meaning of future good fortune and ritual purification. On this special day, the participants cut their hair and nails. For the divine of water, floating lanterns are also released in the sky, in town.
A big procession, with chariots, traditional folk, and ancient traditional costumes, percussion instruments and musicians, start from Tha Pae Gate, east of town, and go up the high street and then to the river Ping. On the banks, thousands of Thais let go of their Krathong, from small wooden pontoons or directly from the banks. Some children get into the water and push away the jammed Krathong, and sometimes they also get back coins left in, on purpose …. of getting good fortune.
Here is a short video of the festival:
Before the end of my stay, with Charlotte, Dani and Dr Bum, we visited Chiang Dao, a village with a cave and a very old temple. Dr Bum (who just got measles) drove us there.
The insect farm was a real disappointment, the exhibition is a poor show and the butterflies in the garden are in a bad state.
Pep was with us on Saturday night, coming back from taking tourists to their lodgings. We went into the Saturday night market, where they make delicious “cuisine”.
I did see François, a press photographer (met on a forum), he is now retired, and has set up home, here.
Thanks to Martine for the translation.