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Loy Krathong

Posted by Claudio on November 20, 2010 in Living in Thailand |

Loy Krathong

Tomorrow is Loy Krathong [photos], one of my favorite festivals in Thailand. It is held each year on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.

During the night of the festival, many people will float a Krathong (a small, beautifully decorated raft holding candles) on a river or other body of water, such as canals, lakes, seas, and even swimming pools or a basin in their own yard. The purpose of floating a raft on the river is to honor and pay respect to the goddess of water, as well as to apologize for the bad things we may have done to the river during the past year.

Governmental offices, corporations and other organizations often create big decorated rafts and for schools, this is an important time as well. Many schools hold a Miss Loy Krathong competition, known as Noppamas Queen Contest, before or during the festival and students are busy creating krathongs, either for their family, or to be sold in the evening of the festival. This is definitely a time of the year you want to bring a camera to school.

Leading up to and throughout the night of the festival the official Loy Krathong song can be heard all around Thailand. The video below shows dancers in traditional Thai clothing performing to the song in Ayutthaya, the original capitol of Thailand.

There is still enough time to memorize the lyrics to impress your friends when you stand at the riverbank tomorrow night, watching your krathong float down the river:

วัน เพ็ญ เดือน สิบสอง
wan pen deuan sìp sŏng
น้ำ ก็ นอง เต็ม ตลิ่ง
náam gôr nong dtem dtà-lìng
เรา ทั้ง หลาย ชาย หญิง สนุก กัน จริง วัน ลอย กระทง
rao táng lăai chaai yĭng sà-nùk gan jing wan loy grà-tong
ลอย ลอย กระทง, ลอย ลอย กระทง
loy loy grà-tong, loy loy grà-tong
ลอย กระทง กัน แล้ว ขอ เชิญ น้อง แก้ว ออก มา รำวง
loy grà-tong gan láew kŏr chern nóng gâew òk maa ram wong
รำวง วัน ลอย กระทง, รำวง วัน ลอย กระทง
ram wong wan loy grà-tong, ram wong wan loy grà-tong
บุญ จะ ส่ง ให้ เรา สุข ใจ, บุญ จะ ส่ง ให้ เรา สุข ใจ
bun jà sòng hâi rao sùk jai, bun jà sòng hâi rao sùk jai
Source: Tweet Yourself Thai

There is also an English version of the song. Teaching it to your students in the classroom is a great activity during the preparations for the festival. Students already know the melody by heart and your Thai colleagues will love you for embracing an important part of Thai culture and turning it into a lesson in English.

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