“In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”
~ Gautama Buddha
Last Thursday, we had the honor of celebrating a special Asian festival known as Loy Krathong. Literally translated, Loy Krathong means "to float a basket," which is exactly what the tradition entails. In this case, the baskets are intricately crafted "krathongs" made from banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense that participants release into rivers, lakes and canals as a symbolic gesture of letting go of past transgressions and honoring Phra Mae Khongka ~ the Goddess of Water. We went to our local park to see what the festivities were all about.
As the full moon lit up the sky, crowds of people young and old gathered around the lake at Chatuchak Park to launch their krathongs into the water, making wishes and sending away all of their hatred, anger and negative thoughts. A peaceful quiet set in as they watched the decorative baskets float away in hopes that the candles would stay lit until they were out of sight, representing good luck for the year ahead.
The symbolism behind this festival is so beautiful to me. The physical act of placing the krathong into the water and watching it float away is so much more powerful than simply making resolutions to be a better person. You can actually envision your darkness drifting away with the krathong's floating flame.
Loy Krathong also deeply struck me because it's all about honoring the Goddess of Water and the many water spirits who bless us each day without ever asking for anything in return. It is a way to make amends for the pollution we pump into our water's purity and to say thank you for the abundance of love and life that the element gives us.