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MummaDragon | profile | all galleries >> Loi Krathong tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Loi Krathong

Thailand: festival at the full moon in November, to honour rivers and water. In a way it has become a desecration of rivers. With firecrackers being let off all over the country for days before and nights after the full moon, fireworks being fired over the rivers and mostly falling into the water, I hate to think of the amount of gun-powder which must end up in the bellies of fish. Little boats are set afloat on the water, with incense streaming - again, to clog up the river when it burns down or blows over. Then, there are the fabulous floating lanterns, made of thin tissue - material possibly being a rice paper with a thin coating of plastic to make them more durable. The substance which makes them rise is a white compound, like firelighter. When it burns out, the lanterns drop - wherever, on whatever and whomever. Sometimes, if the lantern doesn't rise properly, it drops, still burning. On the celebration nights in Chiang Mai this year, one could count hundreds in the air at any one time until late at night (and possibly after - I just stopped looking, at one point and went to bed - but literally hundreds were around. It's a fabulous experience, and also a deeply disturbing one. Fireworks exploding indiscriminately and a mess on and in, the rivers. Light, noise, communal kerfuffle, joyous, raucous, exhilarating - and polluting. There was a sense of exhilaration, of being at a high festival, unforgettable - but tinged with anxiety.
A technical aside - we started on Ratchadamnern Rd and went out via TaPhae Rd to the Ping River. I've uploaded somewhat in reverse order so that the ones closer to the river appear first.
Throng at the Bridge
Throng at the Bridge
Home-made Cat Lantern
Home-made Cat Lantern
Light.  Heat.  Lift-off.
Light. Heat. Lift-off.
Headed for the Heavens
Headed for the Heavens
Offerings to the River
Offerings to the River
Didn't Get Enough Heat
Didn't Get Enough Heat
Mayhem at the River.
Mayhem at the River.
Lanterns, Not Stars in the Sky.
Lanterns, Not Stars in the Sky.
Just Above the River
Just Above the River
Sparkling Trail
Sparkling Trail
Firey Tail
Firey Tail
Harriers?
Harriers?
Rat Banner Glowing
Rat Banner Glowing
Monks Wishes Going Aloft!
Monks Wishes Going Aloft!
Helping Hand
Helping Hand
Horsing Around
Horsing Around
Unfazed by the Hubbub.
Unfazed by the Hubbub.
Monks Watching over the Crowd
Monks Watching over the Crowd
Family Act
Family Act
Quartet Release
Quartet Release
t4%2f49%2f985549%2f4%2f139868737.ZDhmlsZn.jpg Slow Ascent
Slow Ascent
Cheers All Round
Cheers All Round
Over Wat Mahawan.
Over Wat Mahawan.
t4%2f49%2f985549%2f4%2f139868335.YURYSCSc.jpg  Release Imminent.
Release Imminent.
For Want of the Letter 'd'!
For Want of the Letter 'd'!
One on the Way, Another in the Wings.
One on the Way, Another in the Wings.
Patient Japanese Couple
Patient Japanese Couple
Lights Ablaze on the Moat.
Lights Ablaze on the Moat.
Votive Boats in the Moat
Votive Boats in the Moat
Lone Offering.
Lone Offering.
Restaurant on Ratchadamnern
Restaurant on Ratchadamnern
Small Flicker
Small Flicker