Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Loy Krathong

In California most people no longer hold animist beliefs, contrary to what red and purple state folks think. Here in Thailand, however, there is all manner of believin going on, from buddhism to shamanism to animism to downright superstition. I don't mind it at all. Last night was the Thai festival of Loy Krathong. It is a thank you celebrtaion to the spirits of the water, from which rice grows and life flows. Or something. We celebrated at the temple, floating our homemade krathong in a small pond of dirty water. I didn't stick around for the beauty contests, blaring music, or carnival games, but my wife and kids did. They had a great time.

Last week we put up a spirit house, which is a little cement tower that looks like a temple. My wife prays there and burns incense and makes merit in front of it. As it was going up there had to be an old guy there to make various incantations and ablutions and stuff. He is, I suppose, a shaman. He was wearing all white clothes but other than that looked like any other old-timer in my neighborhood. No nose-bone or bird-of-paradise feather headdress.

Somewhere I have some photos.

No comments: