Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

Recently, the Buddhist holiday Loy Krathong was celebrated all across South East Asia. Loy Krathong takes place on the full moon of the 12th month according to the Thai lunar calendar. The holiday is normally celebrated by releasing floating lanterns made of out of flowers and leaves with candles and incense into a river. To the Buddhist worshipper the lanterns symbolize prayers offered to the river goddess Pra Mae Khrong, and are seen as a way to earn merit in order to achieve salvation and be released from the cycle of life. 

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In Chiang Mai, the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, the Loy Krathong coincides with the holiday Yi Peng. Yi Peng is also celebrated on the full moon day but rather than using floating lanterns released in water, the people of the north release Kom Loy (flying lanterns) into the sky. We’re thankful that this year we were able to see the grand celebration. Seeing hundreds of lanterns released up into the night sky was truly beautiful. As we saw each lantern in the sky and floating in the water offered as prayers to their perspective gods and Buddha, we offered up prayers as well to our God who is Lord over all.

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 “You alone are Yahweh. You created the heavens, the highest heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them, and the heavenly host worships You.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

 We were also able to spend time visiting with some old friends and making new ones in Chiang Mai. We always enjoy being able to spend time visiting with our friend Bay when we’re in town. Bay is a graduate of the South Pacific Bible School (SPBS) in New Zealand and owns a well known coffee shop there. We love his missional heart and passion as he uses his coffee shop as a way to create community among his customers. We also had a great time going out to lunch and coffee with Ginny who works with Joma Bakery and Coffee. Joma is a Christian fair trade cafe that has locations in several South East Asian countries. Joma is all about improving peoples lives through social innovation and engagement. We love hearing stories about places like Joma and Bay’s Cafe, and how they use what they’ve been gifted with to bless their local communities. 

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We were invited to join the Chung Doi Church of Christ for a small weekend camping in the mountains. Our friend O (who is the most recent Thai graduate from SPBS) organized the event and did a great job!  We ended up making an adventurous 10 mile round trip hike up to the peak of  Doi Khun Tan mountain. It was nice to be able to get away from the city and enjoy Thailand’s natural beauty. We had a great time being able to visit with the Chung Doi church. Their love for one another and spiritual maturity was such an encouragement.

Mountain Top Group Pic

Back in Bangkok we’ve been having great turnouts to English Club at Suan Dusit University since we started in late September! We were shocked at our first class with the huge turnout of 60 students. Doubling our largest classes from the year before. We’ve had a blast teaching these energetic Freshman and look forward to getting to know them more as the year continues.  

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One Response to Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

  1. Steve Burns says:

    Always great to read about your work there! And I enjoyed the photos of the lanterns, too!

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