Monday, April 16, 2012

Bangkok: Father's Day Part 3 Night Flights

Finally we get to the best part 
of the king's birthday celebration
For some inexplicable reason
when it is dark, that Thailand shines the brightest
even the humanity seem to shine a little brighter
as the sun set,
the city came alive, with a flurry of activity
 as the stage was set,

with the lights,

 and action!

The sight of sellers at the side of the roads are not uncommon
especially this night as some sell candles... and candle holders
It is natural,
as it is tradition to light as prayer for the King
irrespective of status,
or age,
reverence is given to their beloved King
and I did not know this at the time
(though I wondered why there were so many dressed in Pink
even though the Kings colour is yellow)

but there were many dressed in pink
as a sign of praying for the health of the king...
But soon the solemnness passed
and the waiting was over

and the sound of fireworks,
signal it is time for the celebrations to began

with the launching of khom loy's
as soon lone lights were joined by others
For the uninformed,
khom loy are rice paper lanterns
with a bamboo frame
 The lanterns are then lit from below
and anyone with basic science
can figure what happens next

 The air inside heats up and expands
thus reducing its density
and an upward force is produced
bringing these lanterns up into the night sky
So what is the significance of these lanterns
especially during special event?...
They play a dual role in the lives of the believers...
one is as these lanterns float away,
it brings their bad luck away with it
and secondly to help bring about the wishes
of the believers in place of the bad luck...

For many though it is just a fun activity that can be shared
with loved ones

and friends

 and the thrill as they release these lanterns
and watch as they float away

you would think that without any control
over the flight of these lanterns

some may end up some where unexpected/unwanted

and worse than that...
the wax sometimes drop on unsuspecting photorgraphers :s

Any how, the fun must go on
and these lanterns are sold on the spot
and go like hotcakes!

and of course,
the farangs also want to get in on the fun...
if they figure out the purpose of these khom loy's...

Beyond the Khom Loy's there are many other activities 
planned for the nights...
such as the light show on the walls of the grand palace
then there is the stage show
that retell the story of Thailand and its Kings

and the preparations for the stage show
was tremendous...
since day 1 I arrived, the stage was already set

and those behind the scenes were working hard

to make it a success
and their dancers even rehersed in the hot sun..
And throughout the night,
the crowds were entertained with
acting, dances and even songs...

All in all, it is a party to be experienced..
and not to worry, the authorities are on hand
to make sure the fun doesn't get out of hand
and the night may pass by in peace...

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