How to make a Loy Krathong float

How to make a Loy Krathong float

Made of purple Amaranth flowers, jackfruit leaves and incense stuck into the trunk of a banana tree, Loy Krathong floats grace the waters of Thailand this weekend.

Loy Krathong float

This is part of a longer article which includes detailed pictures to guide you. Read the longer article here.

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FLORAL JOURNEY: Loy krathong by Sakul Intakul


The Loy Krathong festival is truly a special time in Thailand. Inspired by the krathong, or the traditional Thai floral floats of the approaching Loy Krathong festival, I have created a contemporary floral float for today's column.

I begin in a very traditional way by using a slice of banana trunk as my natural floating base. Then I use small pins to attach the leaves of the jackfruit tree around the slice of banana trunk with the tips of the leaves pointing upward. When I complete two rounds of the leaves, I cut the lower parts of the leaves at the bottom surface line of the banana trunk slice.

I then wrap the side of the banana trunk slice with a pandanus leaf to make my krathong look nice and tidy. I prepare the blossom of purple globe amaranth by piercing it with half a bamboo toothpick. I continue by sticking the flowers on to the top surface of the krathong until it is all covered with flowers except for the small space where I will place the candle. Three incense sticks and a candle complete the krathong. Now we are ready to head for the bank of the river on the full-moon night of the 12th lunar month, the night of Loy Krathong.

(Source: Bangkok Post, FLORAL JOURNEY, Loy krathong, 19/11/2010, Sakul Intakul, link)

Loy Krathong festival - ลอยกระทง a festival held in November (more precisely: on the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar). People float a small rafts (Krathong) on a river (or canal, lakes, seas). Fireworks and beauty contests also accompany the festival. The meaning of the small raft is as follows:

"Apart from venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Many Thai believe that floating a raft will bring good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (Thai: พระแม่คงคา)." (See Wikipedia)

venerating - worshiping
symbolic
(adjective) - when one thing (the symbol) is used to represent another thing  เป็นเครื่องหมาย, เป็นสัญลักษณ์
letting go - stop holding or gripping, leeting something go away
grudge -
a feeling of anger directed at a person because they have done something felt to be wrong or unfair
defilement -
things that make a person dirty or not pure, in Buddhism worldly desires or mental states which temporarily cloud the mind and hinder progress towards higher spiritual goals ความสกปรก, ความเสื่อมเสีย (Pali: kilesa; See Wikipedia)
grace (adjective) - a smooth and beautiful way of moving
grace (verb) - be at or move throught a place, and look or appear simple, beautiful and dignified

traditional - things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
floral - using flowers, flowery, flower-patterned ที่มีลวดลายดอกไม้
float
(verb) - to be on top of water or liquid, and not sink or go down under the water ลอย, ลอยบนผิวน้ำ
floats
(noun) - 1. an object that floats in the water, 2. in a parade, a decorated vehicle moving along with the parade

contemporary - now, in the present time, modern  ทันสมัย, ที่อยู่ในปัจจุบัน

slice - a part or portion of something ส่วนแบ่ง
trunk - trunk of a tree, tree trunk โคนต้นไม้
banana trunk - the trunk of a bannana tree
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
base - the bottom part that supports the rest
jackfruit - a big green fruit with sticky sweet insides that can be eaten, growing on a tree is common in Southeast Asia (See Wikipedia)
tip - the end or final point of something, the narrow pointed end of something จุดปลายสุด
surface - the outside part, top layer, covering or skin of something ผิวหน้า, ผิวภายนอก, ด้านนอก,
line - straight line, a long thin mark or path เส้น, เส้นตรง

pandanus - a type of tree (See Wikipedia)
tidy - when a room or area is clean and well-organized, in order, not messy ที่เป็นระเบียบเรียบร้อย
blossom -
one flower on a tree of flowers ดอกไม้
amaranth -
a type of herb or weed-like plant with colours ranging from red to gold to purple valued around the world as leaf vegetables, food and as an ornament (See Wikipedia)

piercing - describes a sound that is so loud or high that it hurts your ears (เสียง) แหลมแสบแก้วหู
stick (verb) - push some long thing into another thing
incense - a substance creating a strong pleasant smell when burned, often used in religious worship and ceremonies in Buddhism and Hinduism เครื่องหอม, ธูป, กำยาน 

head for Y - go towards Y, go in the direction of Y, travel in the direction of Y
bank - a raised area of land along the side of a river ริมฝั่งแม่น้ำ

lunar - of or relating to the moon เกี่ยวกับพระจันทร์
lunar calendar - the Asian calendar based on changes in the shape of the moon, ideally suited to farming activities (See Wikipedia on lunar calendar and Thai lunar calendar)
solar calendar - the western calendar now used all over the world based on the movements of the sun (See Wikipedia)
lunar month - one of the 12 months of roughly 30 days each in the lunar calendar

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