The November full moon brightened up the night for those in love and those wanting to be in love, as the festival from Thailand brought a wave of light to Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi

Loi Krathong at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi.jpgWords, photos, video: Ambica Gulati

Little lotus lights bobbed up and down the swimming pool in Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi as the fragrance of incense floated in the November night. It was the night of Loi Krathong, the night of love and a night for lovers to let the water carry away their worries.

Watching the little lotus flowers light up the swimming pool, I was reminded of the diyas floating in the holy Ganga, floating on the waves with offering of flowers, prasad, carrying with them heartfelt prayers for harmony, peace and prosperity. Cultures across the world worship the nature’s many elements with the same reverence.

As far back as we can trace, water spirits have been revered for giving us life on the planet. And like us in India, the Thai people too revere the goddess of water. Just as the rivers in India are lit with floating diyas, people in Thailand collect around water bodies–lakes, rivers and canals–to float the krathong which is a container shaped like lotus blossom made of banana leaves containing a candle, incense sticks, flower and coins. Couples come together to float their krathong and make a wish. The krathong takes away the misery and brings them happiness and prosperity. Falling on the full moon of the 12th lunar (usually in November), Loi Krathong or the festival of lights is touted as a romantic festival in Thailand.

Celebrations at Radisson Blu Plaza DelhiLoi Krathong celebrations, Radisson Blu Plaza DelhiTables lined with krathongs waited as guest watched the dazzling cultural performance by a team of dancers and musicians flown in from Chiang Mai (Northern region of Thailand). There was also a round of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing). And it all ended with a decorated long drum procession where Miss Loi Krathong was carried on a palanquin to the pool site and invited the guests to release the candle-lit krathongs.

Minister from Royal Thai Embassy in New Delhi Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum said it was a great way to introduce the people in India to Thai culture and food. The celebrations ended with a lavish dinner made in the kitchens of the amazing Neung Roi restaurant.