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Celebrating Loi Krathong at Wat Saket

Celebrating Loi Krathong at Wat Saket

November 2019 · 4 min read · Bangkok

In case you're wondering, Loi Krathong, in a very brief nutshell, is the Thai "festival of lights" where festival goers and practitioners of the faith float bouquets made from banana leaves, flowers, lanterns and candles in worship to the Thai goddess of water. This is an annual event that takes place in November (first full moon, so the actual date will differ year to year). If you're ever in Thailand you should try to see and or participate in one of these celebrations. Practitioners will general do this anywhere a pool of water is available although larger venue's or the larger religious sites may have more festivities like at Wat Saket. I heard that Chiang Mai closes their airport on one of the days because of all the floating lanterns released into the air.

At Wat Saket, there were many, many people releasing their krathong's (bouquets) into the river just a few steps from Golden Mount as well as into some pools of water on the wat's premises, no airborne ones though (that I could see).

Interestingly enough, there were swimmers in the river as well as people with diy scoops along the river bank, collecting released bouquet that were unlit or flamed out so they can resell them on the streets above. I found this quite perplexing (if you subscribe to the belief) because the purpose of releasing your krathong into the water is to let the currents carry your wish to the water goddess but the wish could be stolen by a troll living under a bridge, if your krathong happens to float under it. So wouldn't these swimmers be considered trolls and stealing people's wishes? Anyways . . .
The releasing of prayers/well wishes isn't limited to the floating flower bouquets, you can also buy candles and release them in the provided "pools" within Wat Saket's premises. Just in case you don't want your wish stolen or more likely the river side is to0 crowded to safely release. Rest assured, the candles being sold within the wat premises are all brand new, mine was sealed in plastic, lol.
Aside from krathong and candle floating, the compound also had a lot of other festivities going on such as a market, carnival games, kiddie rides and food vendors!
Something that crossed my mind was the why there were so many carnival games using air guns. Some rifles, some pistols, some shooting pellets and others corks. Since the festivities were held within the wat's premises it should be under the purview of Buddhism which, to the best of my knowledge, is anti violence, I don't know, I just found it weird. Anyways, aside from those adult games, there was a kiddie section too with a bouncy house a couple of rides. I saw more adults on the flying elephant ride than children, haha.

I had a blast here and was so engrossed I stopped taking pictures for awhile. It was a very fun atmosphere, to say the least. I'm so glad I got to experience it!

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