Loi Kratong, Thailand festival.

 

On the 10th of this month Thailand will be celebrating the annual Loi Kratong festival. I will be partaking as usual Kratong in hand heading for the nearest Klong (canal), to pay my respect to the spirits of the waters.

Here is some back ground information on the Loi Kratong festival.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.

Loi literally means ‘t

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o float,’ while krathong refers to the lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water. Originally, the krathong was made of banana leaves or the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A krathong contains food, betel nuts, flowers, joss sticks, candle and coins. Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or styrofoam. A bread krathong will disintegrate in a few a days and be eaten by fish and other animals. The traditional banana stalk krathongs are also biodegradable, but styrofoam krathongs are frowned on, since they are polluting and may take years to disappear. Regardless of the composition, a krathong will be decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. A low value coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. During the night of the full moon, Thais will float their krathong on a river, canal or a pond lake. The festival is believed to originate in an ancient practice of paying respect to the spirit of the waters. Today it is simply a time to have fun.

 

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Thailand flooding the worst in 50 years.

 

It’s sometimes very difficult to describe just how bad the flooding in Thailand really is, with some areas under 2 to 3 metres of water. The people are short of food and fresh water. The military have been called in to help but they have a massive job ahead of them. One can only hope that the rain stops and that the people get the help that they deserve giving them some respite from the troubles that they are facing daily.

These are the worst floods in 50 years and so far in excess of 250 people have perished in these awful conditions. I guess that figure will increase as time goes on because many areas are unreachable without the use of boats and helicopters.

My heart goes out to the poor people that are affected by this terrible flooding and again it is the poor that are the worst affected.

The above picture from Getty images just about sums thing up.

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