You’ve probably seen the postcard perfect pictures of those lanterns….After asking around I’ve come to learn that you can buy your own at many local shops. And that’s what we did. The lovely Thai gal who sold us our lanterns also told us that the practice behind the lantern lighting is for you to wish away the bad things from the previous year to make room for the good. Like sending all the negative thoughts, bad luck, karma etc. from the year past up into the sky and in essence, send them away.
And it’s not a practice solely for New Year’s – Thais also celebrate Chinese New Year’s and Thai New Year’s, aka “Songran” is coming up in April. But really, people do it to mark a significant event (birthday, anniversaries,etc.) so consider doing it. A fantastic activity to do with your family, travel mates or for the reflective solo traveller, a way to mark the beginning of your fantastic Thailand vacation! And the locals on the beach were all very keen to help us light them. Word to the wise: splurge (like $2 more) on a large lantern, they have a much better take off rate than the smaller albeit cuter little lanterns. Hopefully you’ll then avoid the nervous feeling that I got watching my cheaper, smaller little lantern start to fly sideways and almost collapse – not sure what kind of affect a crashed lantern could have on my luck/karma but I guess best not to find out.