Hong Kong, Outlying Islands

Dragon Boat Day in Discovery Bay

Today is a public holiday to celebrate the Qu Yuan, poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period. He committed suicide by drowning in a river. People remember him in different ways, but the most common ones are the dragon boat races and rice dumplings. What is the origin of these… Continue reading Dragon Boat Day in Discovery Bay

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Noppomas queen

Beauty contests are often a feature of Thai festivals and the Loy Krathong celebrations are no exception. According to legend Noppomas was a consort of the King of Sukothai in the fourteenth century. She was the daughter of a Brahmin priest at the King’s court. She made the first krathong out of banana leaves in… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Noppomas queen

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Loy Krathong parade

On the second night of the Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festival, Chiang Mai hosts an illuminated parade with large floats of beautiful women and handsome men dressed in the northern Lanna costumes of old. The Loy Krathong Parade features giant illuminated krathongs, on top of which are perched candidates for the upcoming beauty contest… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Loy Krathong parade

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Modern khratongs

The krathong are both signs of respect to the goddess of the water, and apologies to the River Goddess for polluting her waters during the year. Throughout the years of evolution, the krathong raft is now often made out of bread or Styrofoam as an alternative form. In fact, the more environmentally conscious krathong-makers now… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Modern khratongs

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Traditional khratongs

The word loy means to float, whilst krathong are small rafts or baskets. They are traditionally made from banana leaves or the bark of a banana tree and usually contain a candle, incense and lotus flowers. The candle is lit and the krathong is placed on the nearest stretch of water. It is believed that… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Traditional khratongs

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Loy Krathong and Yi Peng lanterns

In Thailand, sky lanterns known as khom loy or khom fai are sometimes released into the sky to mark special occasions because it is believed the lanterns carry away troubles and bad luck. During Yi Peng it was traditionally monks who released the lanterns, but now anybody can do so. There are many different types… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Loy Krathong and Yi Peng lanterns

Hong Kong

Chiang Mai: Festival of Lights 2012

The reason we went to Thailand in November was that we wanted to see the famous lantern festival in Chiang Mai. Every year the lantern festival, Loy Krathong, which means "Floating Crown" or "Floating Decoration" takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar (it… Continue reading Chiang Mai: Festival of Lights 2012