An important part of celebrating the Thai Lantern Festival, Loy Krathong, in Thailand is participating in the tradition of making your own Krathong, or floating lantern. While many Thai people buy their krathongs today, making your own krathong is a great way to learn more about the festival and get involved in the celebrations.
1. Cut or slice a banana tree trunk. Banana tree slices are used to form the base of a traditional krathong. You can buy the prepared banana tree trunks before the Loy Krathong Festival.
2. Cut banana leaves and cover your slice of banana tree with banana leaves. Cut out a long strip of a banana leaf then wrap it around the edge of your banana tree slice so that none of the wood is showing. Similarly, use a circular piece of banana leaf to cover the bottom of your slice of wood. You can attach the leaves to the wood using pins, tape, or toothpicks. Now that your base is complete.
3. Cut out many long strips of banana leaves, fold the leaves into petals, and attach them to the base. Most krathongs are meant to resemble the shape of a lotus flower, but it's okay to get a little outside of the box. You can use traditional shapes like triangles and diamonds or test your creativity by creating flowers and other interesting designs.
4. Decorate the krathong with flowers. Flowers that are commonly used to decorate krathongs include lotus, roses, marigolds, and orchids.
5. Place a small candle and three incense sticks in the krathong. Add the candle by placing a toothpick into the bottom and then pinning it to the center of the krathong. You can directly pierce the incense sticks into the base. The candle and incense should both be standing straight up (if they lean it can cause your krathong to capsize). You can also put other things in your krathong such as coins, nail clippings, hair, and bits of old clothes.
Traditionally, krathongs are made from banana leaves and part of a banana tree. You can also make a krathong from bread and other biodegradable materials. We recommend making your krathong out of biodegradable materials so it doesn’t damage the environment when released.
Here are some of the materials you will need to create a traditional Thai Krathong.
Besides the sticks of incense and candles, the most common things to put inside a krathong are nail clippings, hair, and bits of old clothes. These items are used by Thai people to represent the past self and all the negative feelings from the last year. Adding these to a krathong symbolizes letting go of past actions and thoughts.
Coins can also be added to krathongs as a way of merit-making and wishing for good luck in future years.
You can also add other personal items to your krathong that represent something important to you. These items can represent things you'd like to let go of or things you want to gain in the future.
A krathong is a floating raft that is made from banana tree leaves and is used as a way to release bad luck during the Loy Krathong Festival. Loy Krathong is celebrated every year in Thailand in November by the whole country preparing their krathongs and releasing them on waterways, lakes, and oceans.
Krathongs normally contain personal items to symbolize the bad luck that a person is trying to release. They also contain incense and a candle which are commonly used in Buddhist temples as a way to honor the Buddha.
Krathongs come in many shapes and sizes and can be made from many different materials. During Loy Krathong, there are often competitions to see who can make the largest and most intricate floating lanterns.
There is a great deal of superstition surrounding these banana leaf rafts during the holiday. Many Thais believe that if the krathongs of two lovers float away together, their love will last forever. Conversely, if the krathongs separate or one capsizes or sinks, it means bad luck in the relationship.
10-Day Best of Thailand in Yi Peng Festival:
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