Loy Krathong festival

On Sunday the SCC team enjoyed a cultural evening at the Loy Krathong festival held at the University. As the full moon of the twelfth lunar month lit up the night sky thousands of traditional banana leaf floats (or “krathong”) were pushed out into the lake (“loy” means “to float”). This ritual is one of the oldest in the Kingdom.

Traditional dancing as part of the parade

Traditional dancing as part of the parade

A float carrying a float

A float carrying a float

Crowds at the festival

Crowds at the festival

Food and fun at the festival

Food and fun at the festival

Each float carries with it the wishes of the person or couple. The candles and joss sticks are lit and the krathong floated out into the lake. As the krathong drifts away the hope is that the candle will not go out, as the flame signifies longevity, fulfillment of wishes and release from sins. It is also a romantic evening, as couples who make a wish together are said to stay together in the future.  (Rob launched a krathong, but on his own.)

The krathong

The krathong

The festival also features a traditional beauty contest, called a Nopphamat Queen Contest. At the University, each faculty had an entrant in the contest and the winner was judged by a group of dignitaries that included the Governor.

Some of the competitors

Some of the competitors

The SCC team were hoping our friends in the Computer Science department would win the crown but we didn’t attend the final judging as we stopped to enjoy some local sports activities.

Rob enjoying some local sport

Rob enjoying some local sport (and hoping his krathong wish would come true)

Some local sport

Some local sport

(Thanks to Hance for the better pictures above.)

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