วันจันทร์ที่ 8 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2553
floats, on a waterway is the very symbol of t loy Krathong, yet in the town of Tak there
Is a slight difference: instead of being set off idivodually, they are threaded together in
part of Central Thailand, resulting in an illuminated necklace on the Ping River. Another notable difference in Tak is that, instead of the banana-leaf floats common inI the rest of the Kingdom, celebrants here often use coconut-shell krathong. Yet wherever you happen to be in Thailand on November 16, Loy Krathong is well worth witnessing as it's one of the most beautiful festivals in the country. The floats — containing incense, flowers, a coin and a candle — are set adrift on any body of water in the Kingdom. Tradition-laden, the celebration comes at the end of the rainy season to honour the goddess of water. Loy means "to float" in Thai. Those giving thanks to the goddess light the candle, make a wish and launch their krathong believing it will carry away sins and bad luck. Originally, the krathong for this full-moon festival were made from intricately folded banana leaves, though in a nod to both the modern day and the popularity of the event, styrofoam floats now dominate. What remains the same is that the lit floats together with the full moon and combined with pungent incense and sweet-smelling flowers make this a one-of-a-kind event.AS WITH MOST CELEBRATIONS IN THAILAND, Loy Krathong comes with a rich history. The most common legend revolves around Naang Nopamas, an artistic woman in the Royal Court of Sukhothai some 700 years ago. Her wisdom and knowledge as well as her creativity all charmed King Ramkhamhaeng, whose reign lasted for approximately 20 years until 1298.In 1863, King Mongkut (Rama IV) wrote of the intricacy of the original krathong, setting down the history of this particular Thai festival. Atop stitched plaintain leaves, he wrote, Khun Nopamas presented an ornate float. "On this green leafy deck, she placed a little cargo of betel-nut, betel leaf, parched rice, and sweet-scented flowers. She took several fresh fruits of a fleshy character, such as the papaya and the pumpkin, and deftly carved them into representations of fruits, flowers, and animals, and piled them up in a conical arrangement in the centre." She wasn't finished there. "The artificial flowers she stained with the juices of other plants to make them resemble real blossoms." Added to this were some of her own sketches, small toys and scented incense sticks.Khun Nopamas enjoyed making and floating krathong as an homage to Buddha and was chosen by the king as having the best lanterns. The same king decreed that a Buddhist holiday on the night of the full moon be declared, with the floating of the krathong a staple of the event.King Mongkut went on to write of the increasing competitiveness during the first and second reigns of the present dynasty — between 1782 and 1824 —when it came to gorgeous krathong. By the third reign, deemed wasteful, this had stopped as a royal practice. Instead, Loy Krathong became a public ceremony.Another take on the same festival came from King Chulalongkorn. He wrote that Loy Krathong had nothing to do with ritual, but was merely a time of rejoicing; the idea of floating lanterns connected to a practice of the Thai kings at the height of Sukhothai's influence. is certain is the role of Loy Krathong today. Floating an illuminated krathong, a Brahmin ritual of Loy Krathong Prateep, was an act of worship to God Brahmin, Narayana and Isva, meanwhile Buddhists redefined it as a pious homage to the Lord Buddha's footprint. Certain communities hold that the Loy Krathong rite has an objective of showing respect to the mythical Naga, the great ruler of rivers who reveres the teachings of Lord Buddha. But perhaps an explanation that seems to have acquired a contemporary relevance has its basis in the Thai people's strong spiritual association with the Mother River: floating a krathong is a gesture of respect to, and to ask forgiveness from, the river goddess Mae Kongkha.Some believe that, if the candle remains burning until the krathong is out of sight,--(hen this will rid them of the bad and bring them luck. So to release a krathong is to release past suffering, the gentle river will wash away pain and discomfort. Today most launch krathong and make wishes for the coming year, hoping to start off on a positive note.
WHILE LOY KRATHONG IS CELEBRATED
across Thailand at a time when water levels are at their highest after the rainy season, one of the most scenic locales to take part in the festivities is against the backdrop of the ancient capital Sukhothai.Sukhothai Historical Park, a 700-yearold compound of restored ruins, becomes a fantasy land of sparkling candle lights in the country's most fabulous celebration of Loy Krathong. The air is thick with the fragrant smoke of street food and joss sticks as thousands of krathong, flower-decked banana leaf baskets, are released in the unruffled ponds as a divine offering to the river goddess. For five days and nights Sukhothai basks in bright colours of parades, street fairs, stage spectacles and firework displays, a fantastical carnival of folk flavours, with a curious mix of spiritual, historical, and traditional significance like no other festival.Staged among the rising columns of the archaeological relics, in a soundand-light show that takes place under a moonlit sky, one hundred performers act out a story of the birth of Sukhothai. Shadows, fogs, and coloured lights that play visual tricks on the ruin. all before the show concludes with a splash of fireworks in the night sky.Faith and fun combine to form the spirit of Loy Krathong. On the morning preceding Sukhothai's big night. monks in saffron robes file into a palm grove near the entrance of the park. As preparations for the night's celebration get into swing, the monks sit down amid the congregation of devotees to chant the song-like ted maha chart, a Buddhist psalm recounting the 13 re-incarnations of Lord Buddha. The chanting of the ted maha chart sermon is a reminder of the value of merit-making and sacrifice. It may not present a direct cunt wr.fion the Loy Krathong custom. yet lit, reli,py )1 r. weight puts an emphasis on the whole ceremony as an opportunity to worship the virtue of Lord Buddha.In Chiang Mai, where the festival is called Yi Peng, fireworks and floats on the Ping River predominate, while Ayutthaya is noted for its beauty contest as well as its floats among the ruins of another former capital. Around Bangkok, any body of water will suffice for setting off krathong, all you have to do is follow the crowds. Yet, wherever you witness Loy Krathong though, the original spirit and intent of Naang Nopamas is what comes through.