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Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand, held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. “Loi” means “to float”. “Krathong” is a raft about a handspan in diameter traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk (although modern-day versions often use styrofoam), decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks. In Thai rural areas it commemorates both the ending of the rainy season and the all important rice harvest.
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 also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Adding coins also brings fortune in money matters. Many Thai believe that floating a krathong will create good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha. It is generally a romantic night where couples ask for blessings in their relationships.