Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Floating Lotus

Loy Krathong: The Floating Lotus Festival

On a full moon in the 12th lunar month (usually November), the people of Thailand set afloat little lotus-shaped bowls filled with candies, coins, flowers and a lit candle.  As they set them adrift a wish is made and the longer the flame on your candle stays lit the better chance for the fulfillment the wish and also for the longevity of your life.  Couples make a wish together with the "promise" that this will keep them together always.  The moonlight and the candles and the wishes all make for a very beautiful and romantic night.  This festival is called Loy Krathong. "loy" meaning "to float" and "krathong" meaning "lotus-shaped".  No one was sure when this festival was started but it has been happening since the 13th century.  We made our own floating lotuses...

D I Y Loy Krathong

For this project you will need:
  • paper or foam plates or bowls
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • candies, a candle, and a river to float it on.  We didn't have the last item but that's ok it's not a full moon 'til next week.
1.  On a paper plate draw and cut out a flower shape with pointed petals. This is the base of the flower.
2.  Cut out some large petals and glue them to base so that the petals alternate.  Does that make sense?
3.  Continue to make smaller petals until you've filled your flower. 
4. Write down your wish and glue to center
5. Curl up the edges of the petals to give a more a 3-D look and to hold the offerings in.
6. Go to a river, stream or other body of water.  Light the candle, make a wish and set it off. 

In Thailand they are starting to make the lotuses biodegradable so they don't pollute down river.  Ours will probably never see actual water but our paper plates would dissolve pretty quickly I'm sure. 

Hope your wishes come true!  Our wishes included: a drum, an ipad and an angry birds game.  I'm only betting on one of them coming true (and it's not the drum or ipad).


  1. Thanks - this is a fantastic activity that I'll do with my class of 7 year olds i time for Loy Krathong

    1. Thank you. I bet the kids will have a lot of fun coming up with their wishes!