I must thank kbguy of Just Me n Us for letting me know about the exact date for the Loy Krathong festival in Tumpat. A few nights before the event we had a small dinner at Restoran Kita in Wakaf Baru where he lives, he took me to Wat Pikulthong to see the exact location where the festival will be held. There we toured the area in the wat compound and chatted with the people doing the preparations. To kbguy, I dedicate to you this blog.
The above banner can be seen in the compound of Wat Pikulthong Tumpat where the Loy Krathong festival was held from 11th - 12th November 2008. I have mentioned in passing in my previous blog about the celebration and now it is the time to show you some pictures about it. I tried to capture the essence of the festival without using too many words and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoy making a report about it. The rain that came when they were floating the krathongs away didn't seem to dampen the spirit of all those involved in the festival.
When I reached the wat there were already people milling around the area and more and more people coming. I was lucky to be able to park quite near to the wat's entrance.
People selling Krathongs will greet you at the wat's entance. The cheapest krathong will cost RM10.00.
There were many stalls selling food at the entrance. Most food are vegetarian and they are of course halal. Even muslims opened up stalls at the festival.
This Malay Muslim girl and her father was selling drinks at a stall in the area.
These two friends must be happy to meet each other. They caught my sight and so I record it.
Who says money don't grow on trees. Here donors put their donations on the bracnches of this tree. The Thai Bhats are legal tender here.
Before the procession started, the floats were displayed for everyone to view. Look at the crowd milling around the floats. Below are some of the floats.
I wondered around and saw this monk blessing some devotees.
The whole family were blessed by this monk by sprinkling some holy water.
The little ones were given amulets to wear on their wrists.
The believe in the power of the amulet to safeguard themfrom evils.
Then it was time for the VIPs to arrive.
The musicians with long drums palyed the Loy Krathong song while waiting for the VIPs to arrive.
This bevy of pretty ladies waited to garland the VVIPs
The Thai Councellor General from Kota Bharu was garlanded upon arrival.
The Chief Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism Datuk Dr. Ong Hong Peng did not come and he was represented by this senior officer from the ministry represented him in officiating the ceremony.
This lady broke into dancing the Loy Krathong while escorting the VIPs to the stage.
Eh Chu the chairman of the organizing committee giving a welcoming speech. He thanked all those who gave the support for the fastival to be organied to such a level.
The representative for the Chief Secretary to the ministry gave his speech next. He read 3 pages of text being the speech of the honourable Chief Secretary. Unfortunately nothing registered in my mind and I can't recall any point mentioned.
The Festival was launched by all the VVIPs giving a thump on the huge drum.
The State Representative for Kelaboran gave it a thump too.
Every VIPs every were given a chance to do the symbolic gesture of floating a Krathong each in a small pool infront of the stage.
The cultural performance continued. Several groups of dancers took to the stage one after another.
The costumes worn by the dancers were extremely clourful and beautiful.
Other performers waiting for their turn.
Their fingers are definitely very sharp. I hope their tounge are not as sharp.
The one performance that I can never forget is the Makyong performance by Kumpulan Sri Temenggong Kota Bharu.
The above is the Tarian Mengadap Rebab abd accompanied by what else but the lilting tune of the rebab gendang and gong. Unfortunately they were just taped music. The last time I saw a Makyong performance was more than 40 years ago. The music then were live music complete with Jong Dondang that provide the melancholic chorus backup. License for such a performance is only given on special occassions such as this. I think this is just a small sin compared to the bigger evil of drugs and robbery. Let us not kill our culture.More pictures of the Makyong performance below.
The Makyong dance was so graceful.
Later they were allocated another slot to perform the dance of the Menora.
Note the different headgear used but the dress are almost the same.
The climax was the beauty contest. Each beauty among the finalist was given a few minutes to address the crowd and of course the judges.
I need some close ups so I went back stage and I got my shots.
With those closer shots, can you now make up your mind as to who should win? Kbguy please pick your choice.
For the entire show, these two were the announcers. They did a splendid job.
We must not forget the people who made sure the sound system worked. Here they are.
The audience must have enjoyed the show immensely.
The cultural show is over for now and the stage will be taken over by a band who will be playing popular Thai numbers. They will rock the night away.
It is now time to start the float procession. The procession will be over 3 kilometers from the wat to the sea where the krathongs with the candles lit will be floated away by the waters current. Before that can be started, the VIPs will cut the ribbon to start the procession. They were cut only after the monks had finished their long prayers.
Only after that was the procession started.
When they reached the water front in Tumpat, they put the krathongs on the water.
Candle lit krathongs floating in the darkness of the night.
As the solitary krathong floats away aimlessly in the darkness of the night, I rode a lonely ride on my folding bicycle towards my car parked near the wat. Folding the bike and tucking it into car boot, I went back to my family.