Loy Krathong Water Festival | Chiang Mai, Thailand

We were incredibly lucky to be in Chiang Mai for the Loy Krathong Water Festival.  It is held on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month.  It is a time to pay respect to Buddha and thank the Goddess of Water.  I had made my own floating Krathong a day before, filled with banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense.  Our hotel, The Chedi Club, had a celebration that night and everyone lit the candles and incense and placed the krathongs into the Mae Ping River and watched them float away.  You make a wish and as it drifts away it symbolizes letting go of old grievances and starting life anew.  Supposedly the longer your candles burn, the better next year will be.  You also light a very large lantern and it flies up into the sky.  It was an amazing sight to see the whole sky filled with thousands of lit lanterns and a firework display that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.
Earlier in the day we passed these monks having a celebration of their own.  They sent a couple of lanterns to the sky but one fizzled out.  They were having a great time.
As this Loy Krathong festival also celebrates a new year, so do we.  Here's to a happy, healthly and peace filled 2014.  Happy New Year.