Loy Catong 'Catongs'

How-to do a “Catong” (Loy Catong, Nov-2013)

The Loy Catong festival in Thailand was Sunday just passed. The Catong is a small decorative “boat”, that’s set adrift on a body of water such as the sea. The Catong is adorned with flowers, incense and a candle. Loy Catong Buying A 'Catong' Loy Catong Buying A ‘Catong’

Sometimes they are made out of bread, but ours had a base made out of some kind of very “floaty” wood, cut into a chopping board around 2 inches thick. I guess the whole thing about the size of a 15-18 inch pizza. Loy Catong 'Catongs' Loy Catong ‘Catongs’

To buy one cost 150 Thai Baht, £3 UK or maybe $4.50, I think the smaller ones would have been cheaper.

Then you take it down to the water. Next time I’d bring my own tea light candle, as there was a breeze across the sea and the tall candles provided, basically just blow out. Anyhow, light the incense, light the candle. Loy Catong 'Catong' Lit And Ready To Go Loy Catong ‘Catong’ Lit And Ready To Go

Before setting the Catong adrift, one holds it and says a little prayer, for happiness and “luck” in life. Friends and partners can do this together.

Obviously we waded a little out past the tiny waves that were coming in. The Catong needed a little “splashing” to encourage it to go out to sea. Loy Catong 'Catong' Off Out To Sea Loy Catong ‘Catong’ Off Out To Sea

Our caught fire ! What I mean is the fake “flower petals” caught alight. It was only for a few seconds but added an exciting twist. Eventually died down and candle took over for a while Loy Catong 'Catongs' Tide Brought Back Loy Catong ‘Catongs’ Tide Brought Back

The tide was way way out, so must have been incoming tide. Which meant that not many of the Catongs made it out to sea. With that and the candles going out, it’s perhaps not what people would expect – “A sea full of little lights”. The Thais didn’t seem to care, there were fireworks, sky lanterns, dancing and drinks.

I think the point is that you’re supposed to let go of the Catong, and if it comes back or doesn’t float away, or the candle goes out, it doesn’t really matter.

Photos (c) Don Charisma, taken Thailand, Nov-2013

8 thoughts on “How-to do a “Catong” (Loy Catong, Nov-2013)

  1. Very pretty. I’ve worked out the photos my boss showed me were of her making a Catong. She really enjoyed it and I loved her photos of them being put on the water.
    Thanks for some more insight.

    1. You are welcome, it was an enjoyable evening at the kind of laid back pace I like these days … some make the Catong out of bread … so DIY is definately possible … Also pronounciation of thai words varies from locale to locale, for instance some people say “cop khun carb” or others say “cop khun crap” … same with catong, and I think the “official” pronunciation is “Loi Krathong” … apparently the R’s get dropped …

  2. Beautiful, even if it didn’t make it to the sea. And a wonderful celebration. Maybe we should start something like that on the Ohio and see if any of them make it to the Mississippi River. Later bro.

      1. But Kentucky is on the other side of the river, and we have mountains, well, okay, small mountains, hills, bluegrass, horses, beautiful women, and the infamous Ohio River Valley, where I live. Same river, different state. Much nicer state with a southern accent thrown in (as well as an angel) 🙂

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