Thursday, November 18, 2010

Loy Krathong at School

Loy Krathong is a Thai holiday that falls on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (usually November). At night, people go to the klong (canal) or river to float their krathongs. The krathongs are traditionally made from all the parts of the banana plant and they also carry incense or candles. People light the incense/candles, make a wish, and set their krathongs off down the river. The idea is to ask the water spirits to sail away their troubles in the ir krathongs as sort of a spiritual cleansing. By the end of the night, there are hundreds of flickering lights bobbing up and down on the water. They also have fireworks displays and (very elaborate) beauty contest.

The real Loy Krathong Day isn't until Sunday, but my school held it's celebrations today. It was SO much fun! It was a HUGE event and I still cant believe how into it everyone was. Something like this would/could never happen in America! The students worked on their krathongs all day and then there was a beauty contest and singing competition in the afternoon. For the beauty contest, classes voted on who they wanted to enter, and those girls who were chosen got dressed up in traditional Thai costume. They were all absolutely beautiful! They went all out, and I mean ALL OUT. A lot of my students were participating and I didn't recognize a single one of them!

A sea of students working on their krathongs.

Hard at work!

Some of my favorite students! They're in the Science Program, not than the English program, which means English is far from their main focus. Still, I always have so much fun with this class! They're very lively, to say the least.

A few more of my students...

One of my students shyly showing off her krathong. I can't believe how creative all of the students got with them!

Some of my students from one of my EP (English Program) art classes. They're M1, which is equivalent to 7th or 8th grade at home.

One of the Thai teachers with one of the MANY wild dogs at school. The dogs wander around and will walk right into the classrooms and even the teachers' lounge. They also have a habit of attacking my housemate and I whenever we ride past them on our bikes.

Some of the boys, apparently too cool to make krathongs.

Testing out their krathong to see if it floats. This is the so called "pool" at the school. "Lake" is definitely a bit more appropriate, but I think something gets lost in the translation.

All the krathongs lined up and ready for judging! Each class made one... there were SO many of them and every single one was amazing.

Lots and lots of kids waiting for the beauty contest to start!

It was too crowded on the ground, so a lot of the kids watched from above.

One of the Thai teachers helping a student get ready for the contest.

It's a school rule that all of the students have to keep their hair very short, so Erin (my housemate) and I were wondering how much fake hair was used for all of these fancy shmancy up-dos.

Saway MAK! (Very beautiful.)

The beauty contest in motion! They were all wearing- no exaggeration- at least 4 or 5 inch heels. The "stage" was made of tables, so it wasn't the most solid thing to walk on. To top it all off, these girls all had so much extra weight on their heads and skirts that really didn't allow for much movement. Somehow they all still managed to be perfect little Thai women. I definitely couldn't have done it!


  1. great pictures, keep up the great updates. It so interesting to see the different traditions of people. really cool stuff.

  2. Great Photos Brie!
    Love how you are documenting the preparation. We will soon start the festivals in Chiang Mai so hopefully I'll get good shots!