Along with Yi Peeng, Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most famous festivals.  Because this festival has such a long history in Thailand (and in Laos, and there are similar festivals in Korea, China, Japan, and Vietnam) the origins are somewhat obscure.  Most say that Loy Krathong is to honor Buddha, it is even conjectured that the lanterns are floated to remember the footprint of the Buddha on the banks of the Nammathanati River in India, but there are others that focus more on the Goddess of Water and on honoring and thanking the water/rivers for the life they give and sustain.
Loy (or loi, spelling optional!) means 'to float', and a krathong (kratong, choose your favourite spelling) is a specific object made out of banana leaves decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks.

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    These are the personal opinions of Spook, and do not reflect those of the Peace Corps.


    January 2014