Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Loy Kratong

It was Loy Kratong day in Thailand yesterday, the full moon (15th waxing moon) night of the twelfth Thai month (yes, it 's November).

I think if one ask young Thais,
Why do millions of people went out in the evening to put down small candle-lit and incensed sticks-lit flower floats along rivers or canals ?
, I guess new generation people might answer that the festival 's just for fun. I think if they did answer like that they would probably be right. For hundreds of years, that how young men had chance to meet young women at a rare night festival like this. Some might say otherwise that it is chance in a year to pay tribute to the river angel (Phra Mae Kongka) for providing life line to peple's living. But I would say that explaination was based on Hinduism belief, not Buddhism's. I 'll put down Buddhists' view point down here, which hopefully would be more useful to Thai Buddhists.

  • Firstly for Buddhists, putting the float along the river 's mainly for worshipping the foot print of Lord Buddha who stamped his footprint at a place called Numtanatee (perhaps a river bank or an oceanside somewhere) almost 2.6 millennia ago.

  • Secondly, it 's to worship buddha's relics that had been floated at Ganges river in Varanasi by an Indian King after he discovered the relics in an old stupa near Varanasi.

  • Thirdly, the 15th waxing moon night almost 2.6 millennia ago was the day a prominent Arahant and Buddha's right hand premier monk, Sariputta (Thais called Phra Saribut), went to Nirvana (died). So this is also a remembrance for him.

Those are the reason why I and people in our group put down floats at the Ganges river at Varanasi 4 days earlier, while we were still in India.

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