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Remember that scene in Tangled when Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are
in the boat and thousands of lanterns are released into the sky.
That a magical scene, wasnt it? I remember thinking a...
Remember that scene in Tangled when Rapunzel and Flynn Rider are in the boat and thousands of lanterns are released into the sky. That a magical scene, wasnt it? I remember thinking about how much I wanted to see that spectacular event in real life. Turns out that it is possible if you visit Thailand.
The festival of Yi Peng, which translates into the festival of floating lights, is celebrated in Northern Thailand on the eve of the full moon during the second month of the traditional Thai calendar year. This usually falls somewhere in mid-November of the universal calendar. This festival was first celebrated by the Buddhist Monks in honor of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama).
The festival is symbolic of personal release and forgiveness and the lanterns are symbolic of freeing the soul and bringing good luck to the owner. When the lanterns are released, the owners close their eyes and make a wish. It is believed that with the lanterns, the troubles of the owners float away peacefully.
The lanterns are hand crafted and each one has a unique design or symbol. They are made out of rice paper and bamboo and inside, there is a candle or some other waxy inflammable substance which is set on fire and the lantern is released.
Although there are chances of the lantern causing fires when they land or get stuck on trees, care is taken so that the lanterns do not cause any fires or harm to the wildlife.
Another festival of lights is the Loi Krathong. Loi means to float and Krathong means lotus shaped vessels that float on water. It is celebrated on the eve of the full moon of the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar.
It is believed that the festival has its origins from the ancient Brahmanic or Indic festival that honored the three gods; Phra I-Suan or Shiva, Phra Narai or Vishnu and Phra Phrom or Brahma and was later adopted by the Buddhists to honor Buddha. Additionally, Thai people also honor the goddess of water, Phra Mae Kong Ka, who is the Thai form of the Indian goddess Ganga.
The festival is symbolic of letting go of all the anger, grudges and starting over afresh. It is believed to bring good luck and happiness to the people. The vessels are made from banana tree stalk or bread and are decorated and left to float down a river.