On this evening after dark people will go to their local lake or waterway and float specially made baskets onto the water. The baskets are traditionally made from the bark of a banana tree with banana leafs and flowers as decoration, although in recent times polystyrene is used as the base. Also on the float will be a candle and three incense sticks.
In Thai, Loy means float and Krathong is the name given to the small raft/basket.
When someone is ready to float their Krathong they will light the incense sticks and candles and offer small prayers before releasing the Krathong. People will sometimes include cuttings from their nails and hair on the float.
The act of floating the Krathong on the water and watching it drift away symbolises bad luck and other negative aspects of ones self and life floating away from them, and therefore having good luck for the coming year.
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