November is a great month to be in Thailand. The rainy season is over, the weather is cool(er), the holiday crowds haven’t arrived, and since the rice harvest is over there are festivals to celebrate. After the euphoric lantern release at the Yi Peng festival is the Loi Krathong festival.
Loi means “to float” and krathong means… well, the internet says a lot of different things and we don’t know Thai. But a krathong (“kra-TONG”) is a tiny raft usually made of banana leaves and flowers. You stick a few candles in it, along with some small offerings, set it in the river on the full moon of the 12th month and watch your bad luck float away.
On Loi Krathong, the river is choked with these little creations, parades full of bored-looking young people in glittering costumes crawl through the streets for several nights in a row, the sky is filled what seems to be thousands of glowing jellyfish, and firework enthusiasts (every male under age 30) run amok with zero regard for public safety. It’s glorious.
We roamed the streets with our Couchsurfing host, Kevin, and some fellow Couchsurfers from Portugal, Holland and China (Kevin has a big house).
More khom loy were launched.
We laughed at the small dangers and fled from the larger ones.
Fried bugs were eaten.
Strangers’ photos were enhanced by our sneaky and uninvited faces.
Our photos and words don’t quite convey what it really feels like to be there… So we made this video.