(Wanida, an au pair from Thailand at a temple in MA, sharing the lessons of the holiday with her friends from around the globe.) 

Today is a day to cut your hair and your nails and set them afloat on a banana leaf as you symbolically let the negativity of the year float away and welcome the good fortune of the next year.  Today is Loy Krathong.  Known as Thailand’s Festival of Lights, is an annual traditional Siamese festival celebrated by Thais to pay respect to the Goddess of Water and the Buddha.  Read more about it here:


Our Thai partner, Ruttiya tells GA more about the holiday.  “The meaning of Loy Krathong is to float a flower basket, while Loy means to float and Krathong means a basket decorated with flowers. It is one of our famous festivals in Thailand. We celebrate it annually in the full moon evening of November. Thais will usually go to the temple or the rivers, ponds, or canals for floating our decorated baskets. These days, there are many other styles including the bread basket ones. Schools will normally teach little children to make one of their own just right before the Loy Krathong day. Kids really love them and float them proudly on the day. It is one good day that we could pay a respect to Goddess of Water; floating away the sorrow and wishing for better luck. There would usually be a pageant contest called Nang Nopphamas contest; which was believed to be a court lady who was chosen to launch Loy Krathong in the old era. While in the Northern area, they would have Yi Peng Festival (Lantern Festival) by floating the lanterns to the air instead. It is indeed one of our remarkable celebrations in Thailand and we all love seeing these beautiful scenes.”

Want to make your own krathong with the kids this weekend?  Take a look:


(Above is Siriluck, a Thai au pair in CA)