Friday, November 14, 2008

Loy Krathong Festival In Pictures

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.

This monk was exhorting potential donors to donate generously. He used several languages including English. Looking at the laptop, he was using technology to the fullest.

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.


kbguy said...

Saswadee krupp kun Zawi !!
Kop kun krup mak mak, kun Zawi dedicate blog ni ka pom. Pom happy mak mak leaw !!
haha.. you really stole my heart away. That was a great posting. A really full coverage from the begining till the end. I wonder what time you really went there. Must be early. I really don't know where to comment upon. But.. the 'puying' one, they really looks pretty in Thai constume. Hei, I am also glad we have multi races who attended the festivals, especially the guy with the 'kopiah', who is he ? Thanks to him for coming. Seems like there is no barier in us in achieving harmony. I am glad you show it up to the whole world pee (brot)Zawi how wonderful kelantan is. There is so much that I wanted to say but just need to cut it short, or else I will be saying more than you. I would take this opportunity to wish all Thais .. Happy Songkran Day and hope all of us be bless by the almighty !!!
Last but not least, kop kun krup mak mak pee Zawi for mentioning my name.. haha. Chun ruk tur !

Zawi said...

The guy with the kopiah is YB Kelaboran. I purposely use his picture to show how the people of various races can live together despite the different races. I am also happy to note that you get to make the first comment as I have told you I will be dedicating this blog to you. I told you I got good pictures including the close ups of puying.
I hope Bariah will let me make an article for the magazine. I will be meeting her this Sunday.

Akmal said...

Pak Zawi,
Indeed, money grow on trees haha. Tanam la kat belakang rumah sepokok dua. Dua, tiga, empat tahun, kaya la kita :)
And yeah, ratu-ratu cantiks are also beautiful lah. Hehehe.

Zawi said...

Saya nak tanam sepuluh pokok nak beli semua lens atau kalau mungkin upgrade camera hehehehe.
Suai mak mak oooo.

cappuccino said...

salam pak zawi..bestnye kalau dpt join..tak pernah tau plak kt kelate pn diorg sambut ne..nmpk meriah la..

Zawi said...

Dua wat yang membuat sambutan Loy Krathong tiap-tiap tahun di Kelantan. Selain dari yang di Kelaboran ini ialah di Jubakar tak berapa jauh dari Wat ini.
Tahun depan datangla.

uncleawang said...

Gambo cantik!
Thanks for sharing.

kbguy said...

KejohananTomoi Antarabangsa Kelantan. Piala Tengku Mahkota.
17-18 Nov 2008.
Dewan Jubli Perak, Kota Baharu.

kbguy said...

for more info,, go this site:

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Sawaddee kha, Phi Zawi! Chan dee jai leaw! This posting of yours brings back such wonderful memories for me. For four years from 1992 to 1996 I was handling the PR needs of the Thai Tourism Board and had to travel to Thailand almost every month, bringing Malaysian journalists to seluruh pelusuk Thailand to promote the country. Among trips yang paling memorable would be Loy Krathong celebrations especially in Bangkok. I never knew the sambutan in Tumpat was this grand. Chan phut thai nit nuay, Phi Zawi..hehehe

Zawi said...

Thank you. I am so happy that you like it.

Zawi said...

I must thank you again for the info.

Zawi said...

Phut Thai may dai :).
So you have been enjoying Loy Krathong far earlier than us.
The district of Tumpat has the highest number of wats per district in the whole of Malaysia. Even the Thais from southern Thailand come to pray at the wats here.
Most Thais in Tumpat look like the Malays in skin color and eyes especially the males. You won't be able to tell them apart until they speak Thais.

Asmadi said...


pokcik org kelantan tak tahu pun wujud acara cam ni ..meriah betul kan majlis yang ada ni ,.best sungguh kan ..kena balik kg cam ni sambut sama2 !

kbguy said...

Pee Zawi, bulan April nanti kita gi main air pulak. Water festival of Thais. Bawa rain coat, ok ???
So jadi tak kita gi tenggok tomoi ?
eheh.. dah kena virus siam ke kita ???

Pi Bani said...

Ada tak benih pokok tu? :)

Zawi said...

Pokcik muda lagi bab tu tak tahu apa yang berlaku bertahun-tahun disini. Ni Pokcik dah tau lain kali balik la kalu nak mengalami perayaan begini yang dijadikan acara pelancongan di Kelantan.

Zawi said...

April pesta songkran kan? Tak ada di tumpat ke?
Kat Golok saya tak boleh pergi. Out of bound.
Tomoi belum tau nak pergi atau tidak. Awak je la blog.

Zawi said...

Saya akan pusing seluruh Thailand untuk mencari benih pokok tu untuk Pi. Kalau jumpa satu kita share la. Kalau jumpa dua Pi satu Pak Zawi satu.

cappuccino said...

pak zawi..loni makyong dh tak haram ke?dulu2 suka tengok makyong kat istana budaya..memang sy minat tgk makyong..cukup intipati..suka duka..tragedi..hasad dengki..mmg best..kalau ada nk gi tengok jugak la..dulu ada jugak tgk arwah mak jah primadona makyong buat show..sayangkan..tiada pengganti sehebat arwah..

Crazee Patches said...

Drats! Missed the Loy Kratong celebrations.. Next year I must make it a point to visit KB in November. I really love the crafts - making of the krathong. Tried making it myself last year from instructions on the net but would really love to see the original. And the dances & beautiful costumes!! Thanks for such a detailed picture-log. Really appreciate your efforts. Kelantan is truly wonderful. JK

Zawi said...

Makyong dan menora masih tidak boleh dibuat persembahan kepada awam kecuali dalam majlis-majlis tertentu seperti mengubat pesakit. Persembahan yang dibuat pada prsta Loy Krathong ini adalah cuma satu persembahan tarian dengan music yang direkod.
Mana boleh ganti arwah Kak Jah. Dia adalah lagenda saperti arwah Tan Sri P Ramli.

Zawi said...

crazee patches,
We didn't go to the wat when you chose not to go to the ones in Tumpat.
So your next visit to Kelantan must be based on the calender of tourism events for 2009. For Loy Krathong, just keep the dates of mid November open. Then you wont miss it.
People like kbguy just lives next door to the event and yet he didn't go and had to rely on my report to know how the event went on.

U.Lee said...

Hello Zawi, wow! First time I see these festival. I had always missed it on my East Coast visits.

Your photographs are really well taken and breathtakingly beautiful Zawi.
Ta lama lagi boleh jadi National Geographic free lancer, ha ha.

The costumns, the beautiful dancers are really beautiful.
I can practically get the strong scent of the incense from here, because of the clarity of your pics.

Well done Zawi, a very lively and beautiful posting.
Have a great week, ada senang drop by, got something for you. Best regards, Lee.

manlaksam said...

Pak Man tumpang senyum. Nak cakap Siam tak reti.

changgeh said...

Well done Zawi,a splendid posting indeed. I'm glad you did it.

Zawi said...

I thought you have experienced everything to be experienced. Anyway after reading what I posted you can consider having experienced it already.
My lucky day I guess as I managed to get some good pictures. There were many photographers that day with expensive equipment and I felt so low with just an entry level camera.
The girls wore beautiful costumes and they were beautiful themselves. Would be great if you were there yourself.
I have visited your site. Congratulations for the 101st post.

Zawi said...

Pak Zawi pun tak reti cakap Siam. Cuma reti macam mana nak cakap 'tak reti cakap siam'.

Zawi said...

I am flattered. Really glad that you like it.

Rusdi Abu Bakar said...

Nice photo indeed PW! especially the last ones, lighting is superb!

Zawi said...

Thank you. The last one or the first one? Hahahahaha. Sebenarnya masa main flash dah run out of power jadi saya gunakan camera flash yang built in tu. Nasib baik it can reach the object.

Mat Salo said...

Great pictures to a great event, bang Zawi! Now to head off to kb guy's...

Zawi said...

Mat Salo,
Malam ini ada pertandingan Tomoi antarabangsa di KB. Saya akan cover event ini. Antara peserta adalah cucu saudara saya.
Kalau nak datang sila datang apa bila ada event. Saya akan buat post for next this year's remaining event. Next year's calendar of event will be posted once it is released by the relevant department.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Pak Zawi,

Thank you for sharing these pictures and story! You know, I thought LoyKrathong was only popular in Thailand, so it was a surprise to see such a big celebration in Kelantan. Apologies for the ignorance...

It was very nice to see something so cultural, from the costumes, to the hair, to the decorations. So uniquely...Asian!

Zawi said...

Anything cultural transcends all racial and religious boundaries. Even if there were boundaries they were sometimes ignored or bent to suit the situation. The picture of the YB for Kelaboran was purposely put to illustrate this.
I am glad that you like it.

Rusdi Abu Bakar said...

buke samo ko gambar ho 1st dgn last tu PW? nampak macam saja jah ;-)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

kop kun kap, pak Z.

i am impressed by the whole festival. it looks simply beautiful. and the pictures taken were all wonderfully captured. i especially liked the ones with loy krathongs floating over the river. the flame from the candle adds to its beauty.

it was a wise move that you purposely used pictures of the YB in kopiah. at least you get to tell people that this festival was attended even by the non-buddhists. racial harmony in Kelantan looks alive and kicking. great to know. thanks sir.

Zawi said...

Gamba sama jah. Sengaja bubuh dua dua sebab dalam bloggers kelatan akan keluar gambar tu hehehehe.

Zawi said...

The Sony Alpha may not be the best of SLRs but it has been serving me fine thus far giving me some good pictures drawing praises from people like you. Thus it has encouraged me to go one step beyond to get a report.
Religious and racial tolerance seems to be quite high among the people of Kelantan. Knowing each other more than mere names make them endear to each other.

pB said...

salae Pok Awi

nok lar etek pokok hok berduit tu ...

nok beli lense baru ko che aBear

budok budok siae tu memae srupo melayu..
kalu jupo tepak lain , tok kato pun demo tu Siae ...

Zawi said...

Dok tengah cari lagi benih pokok pitih tu. Pak Awi pun tadok lagi. Kalu ada Pok Awi nak bui semo ore, beli la gapo nak beli tu.
Memang la ore siae tu sama ngan orang nayu belako. Setengak kito pun ada hok asal alik siae.

louis said...

Hello Zawi,

I have wanted to see a Loy Krathong celebration ever since I first found out about that festival.

Unfortunately I haven't been lucky enough so far.

However your fine pictures and narration have brought me one step closer to realizing my goal.

You are so fortunate in Malaysia to have easy access to so many diverse cultures.

Zawi said...

At least you can imagine what the celebration is all about.
Yes we are fortunate to have so many cultures to enjoy. Let us pray that we can continue to live harmoniusly together for as long as we can.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zawi,

Sawadee kha.. Guano demo ?
thanks for the lovely posting, the Loy krathong festival seemed to be getting grander each year.
I think a lot of people are not aware of what Kelantan has to offer and all they know is from the stuff reported in the press ( which is not that positive, most of the time).So your postings does help !
Ambo orge kelate jugo and proud of it ! :D

Zawi said...

Sawaddee Kha....ambo pah ko bilo pun lagu ni la....
I am trying to tell people of some positives about Kelantan in the hope that things will not be totally distorted out or obscured by negative events shown by the MSM to discredit the state.
Pak Zawi has also contributed 3 articles to the debut issue of Qiadah two of which were published and the other one will be published in the next issue together with a few other articles that that Pak Zawi will be contributing. If you haven't got them just email to Sheikh of Kickdefella for it.
Well there is only that much that this old man can do but more can be done if young men like pegasuskl and others choose to chip in. Just post more articles and pictures of Kelantan and that will definitely helps the cause.
Khop khun kha.

mrs.lim said...

oh.. this is very interesting.. goodness me.. oh.. they are simply

Pak Zawi, I have never attended the Loy Krathong Festival before.. thanks.. yeah!!! :)))

Zawi said...

Mrs. Lim,
Don't miss it next year OK?

mamadou said...


Terasa dekat dan berada dalam majlis Loy krathong tu sendiri bila baca tulisan Ayoh Awi. Liputan yang menyeluruh cuba malporkan apa yang berlaku untuk pengetahuan orang seperti saya yang tidak punya kesempatan untuk sama menyertainya. Alangkah indahnya budaya masyarakat kita yang berbagai. Itu pun kita masih belum mengetahui sepenuhnya budaya tetangga kita. Indahnya Malaysia Ku

Zawi said...

Semoga terubat rindu Mohamad kepada Tanah Air semasa diperantauan. Kekadang kita tidak berusaha untuk menghayati kebudayaan dan ugama jiran tetangga kita dan cuma mengharapkan orang untuk menghayati yang kita punya. Cuma secara ini sahaja integrasi kaum akan berlaku.

areMaL said...

Pimpinan Kelate baguh2 blako :D hubungan etnik antara rakyat kelate meme patut di puji nieh.. :)

Zawi said...

They are politicians so they know what is best for them.

Puteri said...


Before my last trip to Kelantan, I was quite unaware of the large Thai population in Kelantan. It seems that the Thai community is a very vibrant community and this Loy Krathong Festival is not something I, as a non-Kelantanese, expected to have seen take place in Kelantan!

Indeed Kelantan is more diverse and more tolerant than many of us realize.

Enjoyed the post!

Zawi said...

This Loy Krathong festival was held at another wat which I didn't take you to.
Can't blame you for not knowing much about Kelantan as you had only a fleeting glance of the state. Some people has been here all their lives and yet they could not know all.
If only we could respect each other's religion and culture, it would be a beautiful world to live in.

william said...

Simple post but great expression of thoughts.. how do you do that? i think your a veteran blogger! am i right?

anyway I'm william
mind if I put a link back to you?

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