Every year, on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, Thailand celebrates Loi Krathong. In Northern Thailand, where Mae Sai is located, Loi Krathong coincides with Yi Peng festival that is celebrated on the evening of the full moon of 2nd month in the traditional Lanna lunar calendar. Both festivals have the same origin in Vedism. These ancient rituals were adopted by Buddhism. They mark one of the most important holidays in Thailand today.
All over Thailand, people will build small floats (called Krathong) from a slice of a trunk of a banana tree, decorate it with elaborately folded banana leafs, flowers, candles, and joss sticks. In the evening, people will set these floats free on rivers, lakes, or ponds making wishes while doing so.
In Northern Thailand people will additionally set sky lanterns, called Khom Loi, free. These little hot air balloons are made of thin paper and are inflated and carried by a small fire underneath.
The fire from the candles and from the sky lanterns is a symbol for the light of Buddha and the drifting away of the Krathong and the Khom Loi symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements.
During the afternoon of Loi Krathong Day, the students of our Half Day School will build their own Krathongs which they will set free in the evening so their wishes will come true, and they will having good luck in the future.