What a thrill to be in Chiang Mai for the Loy Kra Tong Festival! The festival takes place the first full moon after the monsoon season ends, as a thank you to the water goddess. What a spectacle it was!
They make gorgeous floating rafts of flowers and bamboo leaves, with incense and candles, to float down the river. People make them by the thousands. The idea is to float kra tong so that the evil moves away from you. We put a few coins in for the boys to place them in the water for us.
Next are the amazing air balloons. Made of paper the float so high that they are not allowed to do it until the airport is closed at night. The sky is so beautiful with the golden glow of the candles high up. So many you wouldn't believe it.
Then there was the parade, like Carneval with beautiful girls and costumes and music. Each group stops to dance barefoot in front of the judges .
And a temple festival after midnight, where the local people donate large amounts of food to the monks.
And the fireworks--people just set them off everywhere, big ones, small ones, firecrackers, and bottle rockets. It was a little scary, but tons of fun too.