Photo Gallery, Nov 8, 2003

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Thai Lantern Festival   (YSW ferry pier)



Walking by the Thai Thai Restaurant on Sat night, I noticed the colourful contraptions below, constructed from paper, styrofoam, flowers, candles and incense sticks. They were made for the Loy Krathong Festival, to be set afloat into the harbour that night at 11:30pm at the ferry pier. I was getting ready for one more Lamma festival photo shoot!


This ancient Thai custom of placing handmade floats on waterways goes back over 700 years to the Sukhothai period. This elegantly beautiful annual Festival of Light is observed by Lamma's Thai community, held on the full moon in November.


Instead of setting the floats free on the traditional river, Lamma's Thais use the harbour - due to a lack of rivers on Lamma - the receding tide carrying the floats (krathong) out into the harbour looking in a silent procession of lights.


They believe this will bring them good luck and carry all bad stuff in their life away. The candle and incense sticks are lighted before being placed on the water. People usually make a wish at the same time. Some people believe that if the candle remains burning until the krathong is out of sight then their wish will come true.

Beauty contests are an important part of the festivities. Observe the children dressed up in finest embroidered Thai silk with sizable gold ornaments and colourful make-up. In Thailand, fireworks, boat races and hot air balloon lanterns are also part of the festivities.

(click to enlarge)

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