Thailand: Loy Kratong, Festival of Lights
by Pia of our Thailand Office
Image photographed by Oliver Hargreave
From Pia in our Thailand office: Nov 3rd was the end of our Loy Krathong festivities. This was held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. Local people gather with friends to celebrate. Loy Krathong is sometimes called "yee ping" or the 'festival of lights'. "Loi" means "to float". "Krathong" is a small raft traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk (although modern-day versions use specially made bread 'flowers' and may use styrofoam), decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks etc. During the night of the full moon, people released these rafts in the river. In addition, fireworks, decorated raft contest and beauty contests take place during the festival.