Ko Chang Travel Blog› entry 15 of 62 › view all entries
Loy Kratong is celebrated on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month which occurred last night. Small banana tree platforms called kratongs are elaborately decorated with coconut and banana leaves and flowers. They often contain morsels of food, locks of hair, fingernail clippings, coins, nuts, and always sticks of incense and a lighted candle. The Thai word loy means float. The kratongs are set adrift on any body of water throughout Thailand.
The festival is believed to have originated in Sukhothai, Thailand's original capitol, in the 13th Century. Nang Nopamas, a royal consort of King Ramkhamhaeng, made the first kratong and set it adrift so that it floated past the king.
The festival also has several religious interpretations. To some, kratongs are seen as an offering in thanks to the goddess of water, Phra Mae Kongka, for a plentiful supply of water. Some Buddhists see the kratong as paying respect to Lord Buddha or to one's ancestors. Others believe that it has Hindu origins as a means of paying homage to the god Vishnu. Regardless of its origin, Loy Katrong is a festive event and visitors are welcome to participate.
Last night around midnight, in front of Nature Rocks, groups of Thais and foreigners gathered to launch their kratongs. While some drifted into Bai Lan Bay beyond visibility, others slid beneath the surface. Parties at all the bars thundered late into the night.