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Main  >> Features  >> Halloween VS Loy Krathong
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Halloween VS Loy Krathong

 
The similarity between Halloween from the Celts and Thailand's Loy Krathong is surprisingly drawn in a way that both festivals are held to protect demon and badness. Moreover, these two events occurred in the same period; the end of the year.

In the remote past, it was believed that on October 31 or the New Year 's Eve in Celtic calendar , the boundaries between the worlds of the livings and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness. Hence, people attempted to disguise themselves as dead in order to frighten the real spirit and to refrain from being haunted. In Halloween; a shortened form of All-hallow-even, there are many traditional activities , which includes trick-or-treat, fancy parties, bonfires, haunted-house visit and horror-film watching. Kids enjoy this culture as they can go out in fancy costume knocking on the neighboring doors and asking for sweets and candies; trick-or-treat. Although its original purpose to make merits to the dead is contorted, trick-or-treat is still prevalently found especially in the West such as Ireland , the United States , Canada , Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom . Another symbol for this festival is a pumpkin often carved into scary faces which is called Jack-o'-Lanterns. In Thailand, although we do not have trick-or-treat, we can still have fun and enjoy this imported festival by fancy parties full of ghastly costumes and make-up, food and drinks with new awful name in eerie atmosphere. The costume contest is often held to attract party lovers, especially in nightclubs around KhaoSarn Road, Sukhumvit and Ratchada.

The day to celebrate Loy Krathong is just few weeks after Halloween; on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, or on November 5 this year. The story about repelling evil might sound familiar to Thais. To float the beautiful Krathong away refers to flying away bad things in the past, protecting misfortune and asking for good luck in the future. This fete is also held for people to pay respect to the Goddess of the Water. That people traditionally show their gratitude on plentiful use of water and ask for forgiveness in the ensuing pollution may not be thoroughly understood by some teenagers today as they are merely concerned about the night out and party. Focusing on the Krathong or what we put onto the water and float it away, we try to avoid using synthetic materials and return to banana leaves and barks due to the concern for environment. We always decorate Krathong with flowers, and the ritual starts when we light a candle and incense sticks, ask for forgiveness and show gratitude, make a wish and pray for luck.
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