On 19 November 2021, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) held a Loy Kratong Festival at the main Campus in Nonthaburi to preserve Thai traditional culture and traditions.
STOU held its 14th Loy Kratong Festival where Prof. Dr. Wichit Srisa-an, Chairman of the University Council, and the university’s executives joined to promote the preservation of Thai traditional culture among STOU members and the community. To ensure the utmost safety and memorable experience for the participants, this year Loy Kratong Festival was organized under the ‘new normal’ measures.
It is believed that Loy Kratong originated in Sukhothai, an ancient capital city of Siam. It is celebrated on the full moon in the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar, usually falls in mid-November. It’s a day to give gratitude and ask for forgiveness to the water goddess, Phra Mae Khongkha, by floating (loy in Thai) their Kratong into the rivers, lakes or ponds. Many people believe that floating Kratong is a symbolic way to brush off bad luck and let go of negative vibes. Some lovers also float their Kratong together, believing that if their Kratong keep floating side by side, they too will remain as a couple forever.
Kratong is usually made from banana trunks decorated with banana leaves, flowers and candles. However, Thais have been aware of water pollution concerns caused by Kratong. Kratong these days are made more from environment-friendly materials. STOU members, too, have paid attention to the water problems. Many participants used Kratong made from biodegradable materials such as ice and fish food. After the festival, the remaining Kratongs were properly removed from the waterways. STOU has made sure to maintain the traditional culture of Thailand, while remembering the original purpose of ‘Loy Kratong’ festival, to give gratitude to Phra Mae Khongkha.