Loy Krathong Sai

This year I have been to several Loy Krathong Festivals. The first was Loy Krathong Jay which was held back in October during the Vegetarian Festival. Then the normal Loy Krathong during the full moon of November. Then, this weekend I went to Loy Krathong Sai at Bang Krasop in Phra Pradaeng District of Samut Prakan. This is a different kind of krathong that is usually small boats that are strung together with a long piece of string.

This was the first time that they had held this festival at Bang Krasop. The most famous Krathong Sai is done every year in Tak and also in Maeklong. I guess they liked the pictures from this festival and so they wanted to start their own tradition in Samut Prakan. However, I am not sure why they decided to have it nearly two weeks after the full moon. Maybe they decided that they had too much competition for something new and that it would be best to be held later.

The promotion of the event was partly done by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Which I thought was very kind of them. They had a press release on their website in Thai though they didn’t bother to have anything in English. They also brought along about twenty or so national media to cover the event. However, I think that was a bit of an overkill. The event was held in a small forest along the bank of a canal. There wasn’t much room for the local people to enjoy the event. You can imagine what it was like with so much media.

The Bang Krasop community had events on all day which included exhibitions, traditional Thai music and OTOP stores selling locally produced items. The local people were really kind and were very welcoming when I turned up. It took place literally in the middle of no-where down the bottom of a narrow lane. When I arrived they gave me a free t-shirt and sat me down to eat a large meal. The scene alongside the canal was really tranquil. And as the sun went down on the horizon, we then spotted the fireflies in the nearby trees.

The Governor of Samut Prakan arrived at 6.30 p.m. to officially open the event. After the speeches, he floated his own traditional krathong. Then, about 1,000 little boat-like krathongs were set adrift upstream from us. Each of these boats, made from coconut husks, had a lighted candle. They had timed the day well as the tide was changing and the water had started to run they other way out into the Chao Phraya River. It was a really magical sight. So beautiful though very difficult to show in pictures. There was no electrical lighting in the forest at all.

I took some pictures here for a while and then headed back to my car. Here someone came up to me on his motorcycle and asked if I wanted to go further down the road to where there was a bridge. He said I could watch the krathongs float towards me at that point. I am really glad I followed his advice. It was quite a sight and even though there was no string attached between each boat, they managed to keep a straight line as they approached us then went under the bridge. This last picture is of them about to float out into the Chao Phraya River. I will definitely go again next year though next time I will take a tripod!

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