Loy Krathong 2016 Honors Kings Death
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) sponsored a Loy Krathong celebration in Bangkok at Santi Chaiprakan Park on November 14, 2016. Normally, Loy Krathong is extremely festive with fireworks. However, this year the celebration is more traditional, honoring the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This means no fireworks or beauty contests. However, a super moon made Loy Krathong an extra special event this year.
At the celebration, The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul explains, “This year Loy Krathong is very special because everyone gathers not only to carry on the festival, but this is the time we look for something more special, in order to make this Loy Krathong as a tribute to our beloved king.”
The moon was the closest to the earth since 1948. The super moon allows special traditions to be carried out, which are only be done under the large, bright super moon. Additionally, special ceremonies are included this year to honor the late king.
The minister concludes, “I believe that it’ll be a very memorable event for all.”
Meaning of Loy Krathong
Loy Krathong is a holiday with Buddhist roots celebrated in Thailand. Each year, it’s held on the day of the full moon during the 12th lunar month. The holiday pays respect to the Goddess of Water or the Hindu Goddess Ganga.
Small “Krathongs” (or floating baskets) are built from a variety of materials such as banana leaves and bread. Many Thais build their Krathongs with precision, topping them with flowers and a candle.
The holiday is used to let go of anger, hatred, and resentment built up through-out the year. It’s the time of year people let go and move on. Some Thais will cut pieces of their hair or fingernails and place them into the Krathong. Finally, as the Krathongs are placed into a body of water and sent adrift, this symbolizes the letting go. Because of this, the celebration is also known as the festival of lights.
Tourists Celebrate Loy Krathong
Many tourists visit Thailand to celebrate Loy Krathong or to watch the beautiful ceremonies. At the TAT ceremony in Bangkok, tourists are encouraged to build and float their own Krathong. The TAT freely provides Krathong building materials as well as instruction.