As promised, because I’m in a better mood this time ’round (though only slightly! You know I don’t like to de-grumpify if I can help it), I’ll allot a few words to explain just what this Loy Krathong business was all about. Though it’s worth mentioning that I only found out the information via Wikipedia after Wayne and I were approached to speak about it at morning assembly, after which we were subsequently met with looks of disapproval that we didn’t already have a working knowledge of this “important festival.”
Anyway, Wiki’s since informed me that it’s an age-old Buddhist holiday meant to be a sort of cleansing ritual. You buy or make a “krathong”, which is a little floating river raft made traditionally from banana leaves but sometimes from bread or styrofoam, light a candle on it, sometimes include a low-value coin, sometimes nail clippings or hair to symbolize your own rejection of the ‘unclean;’ and push ‘er out into the river with a wish for… new beginnings or something like that. And despite our ignorance to the whole shebang, it really did seem to be a big deal. Big enough to excuse both students and teachers alike to stay out til nearly midnight. Yeahhhhh man!
The day before Loy Krathong we’d taken Wayne’s sister to lunch at the “River Restaurant” (we know precious few actual names of the restaurants we frequent, and prefer to just identify them by a striking feature.) where we spent my birthday because it’s such a cool location, the food’s excellent and cheap, and the family that owns it is just so darn nice. Keeping up her reputation, the lady insisted that we come back the following evening and celebrate Loy Krathong there. We thought that sounded just swell and agreed. But first we needed krathongs.
a la lantern festival in china
So that was that. Happy Loy Krathong! (a week late but…)
As promised, photos of the giant, prize-winning Krathong made at our very own Thung Song Municipality High School.