Monday, December 29, 2014

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is an annual holiday in Thailand. It's not one that people get off work, but it's one that is widely celebrated here and in other Buddhist countries. As with any holiday anywhere, you can ask people what it's about and you'll get a range of answers.

Most Thai holidays fall on a full moon, which is an important part of the Buddhist Calendar. 
Loy Krathong falls in November (this year it was 6th November) and is near the end of the rainy season/beginning of the cooler dryer season (winter). People celebrate by floating (Loy) a decorated boat (krathong) in a body of water. It's a celebration to thank the water gods for the rice season and  a chance for Buddhist to repent/float away their sins, and make wishes for the next year. Also similar to many holidays, it has become very commercial, adapting an almost Valentines Day meaning- something you do with your sweet heart.

We joined thousands of others at  Benjansari Park right downtown. With easy access from the sky train, this was a very popular destination for people living downtown. 

We've been in Thailand for three different Loy Krathong celebrations. At my schools we take time to part take in the celebrations which also include Thai dancing, singing, and games. This year Greg and I joined a group from church (and thousands of other people) to float krathongs in a local park. For us, it took on a different meaning.

My students' krathongs ready to go! 

A few friends from church and our krathongs. 

Enjoy our pictures below, along with handout we read during our experience.


John 1:1-5 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

As you look upon all the lights. Remember Jesus who is the light of the world. How has Jesus provide light in your life? (Optional: Share 2 ways he has done this with a partner)

Light Your Krathong.

Remember that as a Christian you are part of the body of Christ, called to be part of Christ’s light in our world. Think of one way you can bring the light of Christ into someone else’s life this week. Now commit to doing it.

On top of every kratong is a candle and incense. 


1 Kings 8:46-51. 46 "When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, 'We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly'; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

Take a few minutes while looking at your lit Krathong to reflect on your life. Is there anyone with whom you are angry? Are you holding any grudges? What are some things you are involved in that you shouldn’t be? What are some things you are not involved in that you should be?


Here is how the book of Matthew describes the birth of Jesus. Referring to Mary, Matthew says, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Place your Krathong in the water and watch it. As you watch it, thank Jesus for overcoming your sin with his death on the cross.

We really enjoyed the celebration. 

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