“It’s been the best Loy Krathong so far at Baan Unrak!”, Didi said the day after. Indeed, it was a great evening… with an unexpected and thrilling ending!
Loy Krathong is a very heartfelt festival here in Thailand, celebrated on the evening of the full moon of November.
On that day, the children came back from school in a hurry, and quickly got busy making the Krathongs from banana tree trunks and folded banana leaves, crafted into a lotus shape and decorated with flowers, three incense sticks and a candle.
On this very special evening, we also had very special guests celebrating with us: our friends and sponsors Stephanie and Christian. We all gathered at the dining hall, and by candlelight we chanted and meditated together.
Then, accompanied by Aye Moe’s guitar, we walked down to the lake singing Baba Nam Kevalam – Love is All There is.
Our workers did an amazing job in preparing for this event. They had perfectly smoothed the bumpy dirt trail that descends steeply towards the lake, and placed lights all along the path, making it easier for us to walk in the dark.
On the lake shore, it was time to thank the Water Goddess. Holding the Krathong in our hands, eyes closed, we paid respects and made a wish. Then, we released it onto the water.
The Krathong’s floating away symbolizes letting go of our bad emotions. Its flickering candles slowly disappear, and we can start anew free of negative feelings.
The full moon was lighting up the sky, and for a moment it was covered by heart-shaped clouds. It was magical.
We also lighted up floating lanterns, Khom Loy, and let them fly away in the night sky.
Then we gathered around the fire, holding hands in a circle, and chanting some more.
Riding the Fire
When everybody was returning home, only a few children remained around the fire. One of them declared: “I’m gonna jump through the fire!”. No one believed him.
It was unbelievable to see, yet everything went good under the supervision of a few grownups. According to the children, the fire wasn’t hot at all!
Here is how we celebrated Loy Krathong before.