Jamie's Phuket Blog

Loy Krathong 2014 - 6th November 2014

The date for Loy Krathong 2014 will be November 6th.

Loy Krathong is a very old festival which takes place on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (so the date is different every year). Loy Krathong is largely about giving thanks to the goddess of water, though may be based on an old Hindu festival. There are many links between Buddhism and Hinduism, being that the Buddha was born in India. The festival is not huge in Phuket compared to Chiang Mai for example, but nevertheless it seems that everyone does it!

Does what? Well, aside from a bit of a party, you have to "Loy" (float) your Krathong - a few years ago I wrote about Making a Krathong. There are also beauty contests and who-can-make-the-best-krathong contests. The story below is based on our Loy Krathong evening in 2008.

Despite the weather, we headed out in the evening to Bang Wad Reservoir which is only a few kilometers from our home. The reservoir is Phuket's largest fresh water supply, so a good place to give thanks. The evening has been wet. Yes, we had been "blessed" with plenty of water. Of course, everyone waited until the rain had stopped, so it was rather crowded and also muddy underfoot. We had several Krathongs to float - one made by my wife, one made by her sister and one made by my daughter at school. There were hundreds of Krathongs in the water and hundreds more people wanting to float away all their bad luck.

Floating Krathongs at Bang Wad Reservoir

Krathongs in the water, Loy Krathong

Near the water were some food stalls. We did not hang around. It was crowded and muddy... and getting late. I think next year we'll go somewhere quiet for Loy Krathong.

Food Stalls at Bang Wad Reservoir for Loy Krathong

Noodle Stall at Bang Wad Reservoir for Loy Krathong

At the reservoir we bought some "kom fai". These are lanterns made of paper with a lump of solid fuel built into the base. Simple design. All you need to do is light the fuel, let the hot air rise and watch them go. People were doing it at the reservoir.

Kom Fai

Letting the Kom Fai fly!

At home we found that lighting the fuel was not so easy with a bit of a breeze. One of the lanterns took off and then landed again in the garden next door.. then took off again and got stuck in their TV aerial. I thought the burning fuel would burn their TV cable, but the lantern blew off to safety in the end. We sent 4 lanterns off into the night sky to become stars (so I told the kids!)

Kom Fai
(above) burning fuel heating the air in the Kom Fai

Letting go of the Loy Krathong Lantern
(above) Once the fuel really starts to burn, the air heats up and you can slowly release your lantern...

Kom Fai Lantern heading towards the full moon


 Loy Krathong 2014 - 6th November 2014  |  Jamie's Phuket Blog


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