Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The full moon day of the twelfth lunar month is Loi Krathong. Thais in massive numbers congregate around the rivers and open fields to release floating fire lanterns in the sky and lotus shaped baskets or boat with candles and flowers down the river. The most impressive is the release of the floating fire lanterns which they do in massive numbers. This festival area is called "Yi Peng". The monks perform a meditation while people follow along and then they announce that it is time to release the lanterns. Loi Krathong is my favorite time of the year in Thailand. The town is decorated beautifully with a very festive atmosphere and it also marks the beginning of the cool season. Which is glorious here. We went to Loi Krathong last year but unfortunately we had to leave before the releasing of the lanterns because the girls were getting tired and fussy. This year I went with a friend who likes to take pictures as much as I do. What a great time.
Prior to releasing the lanterns the monks proceed down off the stage and ceremoniously light the torches/candles that will be used to light the fire lanterns.
The flame holders are quite ornate
People are starting to get their lanterns ready
The excitement is building as more people are filling their lanterns with hot air.
It is just about time to let them go!
Here we go!
Let em goooooo!!!!!!
This is one of the most spectacular things I've seen! The pictures don't do the event justice.
I keep firing away with my camera trying to get the best shot.
Sometimes it is hard to really appreciate what you are seeing as it is all happening so fast.
I believe there are approximately 3,000+ lanterns being released simultaneously.
They finish that first huge wave of lanterns and people continue to release lantern after lantern until the night sky is filled with little glowing orange dots.
The winds carry the lanterns up and in a swirly pattern and decorate the black sky. The weather was beautiful with clear night skies. What an amazing night!
Towards the end of the evening they shoot off fireworks in the midst of all the floating lanterns.
Groups of monks gathered together to send off a row of floating lanterns (comb loi). The Thais believe at Loi Krathong that when they release the lanterns and float the Krathong(banana leaf basket) down the river they are washing or releasing the years sins away.