Tuesday, November 19, 2013

going to a festival.

This last week was a busy one. We had a lot going on both at school and in town. First up we had a rive harvest celebration at the school. We loaded the preschool kids up into vans and ventured a couple of miles over to the elementary school. The kids were dressed up in native costumes and the parents turned out in droves. We had a local man give a harvest demonstration and then the kids were handed sickles and turned lose in the field to do some harvesting of their own. They cut the stalks, pulled the seeds off the stalks and then removed the grains from the husks. It was quite the process.

They followed it all up with a little carnival complete with food, games, karaoke and more. Pretty much we’re just always looking for an excuse to not do real school work.

In conjunction with this (sort of) was a national festival Loi Krathong on Sunday. This harvest festival takes place on the full moon of the 12th Thai month (which happened to be November this year). It gives thanks to the river and sky deities for the rain/water/abundant harvest and sends wishes for more success to come.

Elaborate floating candles are made of banana leaves, flowers and even food then are lit and sent out onto the water (the biggest celebration happens a little farther north along the Mekong River but we had a pretty decent showing in the lake in our park). There are also paper lanterns that are lit, filling with hot air and then rising into the sky. (Think of the movie Tangled- same, same!) If you can forget about all the pollution it’s really magical. Like stars you can touch or really big fireflies. (Apparently some even make it as far as the west coast of the USA and more ufo sightings are reported that day than any other as people see lights in the sky that then suddenly disappear.)

There were a few in the sky the first night I got here, leftover from Buddhist lent and they greeted me like tiny beacons of hope and wishes for the best in my new adventure so to see the sky full of them was truly an amazing sight.

How was your weekend?

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