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ลอย กระทง
(Thai Loi Krathong Festival Song)

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Loi Krathong is a lantern festival in Thailand. "Loy" means "float" and "Krathong" is a little boat (or a small float) made from banana leaves. So "Loy Krathong" is roughly "float banana leaf boats".

ลอย กระทง
Loy Krathong Song
Loi Krathong Festival Song
(Thai)
Loi Krathong Festival Song
(English)

ลอย กระทง - Thai Children's Songs - Thailand - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


วันเพ็ญเดือนสิบสอง
น้ำก็นองเต็มตลิ่ง
เราทั้งหลายชายหญิง
สนุกกันจริงวันลอยกระทง
ลอย ลอย กระทง
ลอย ลอย กระทง
ลอยกระทงกันแล้ว
ขอเชิญน้องแก้ว
ออกมารำวง
รำวงวันลอยกระทง
รำวงวันลอยกระทง
บุญจะส่งให้เราสุขใจ
บุญจะส่งให้เราสุขใจ

On the Full Moon of the 12th lunar month.
Water overflows the banks
We all, men and women
Have a lot of fun on Loy Krathong Day
Float, float the banana leaf boats*
Float, float the banana leaf boats*
After we float our banana leaf boats
I invite you darling
To come out and dance the Ram Wong**
Dance the Ram Wong on Loy Krathong Day
Dance the Ram Wong on Loy Krathong Day
Good merit*** brings us happiness
Good merit brings us happiness.
 
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Notes

*These lines are both "Loy Loy Krathong", which I'm translating here to give its actual meaning.
**Ram Wong is a Thai dance that became modernized during WW1.
***"Good merit" can be more literally translated as "making merit". "Making merit" is the Buddhist concept of doing good deeds in this life to help you later in life or in the next life. One can gain merit and transfer part of it to loved ones who have passed away to ease their suffering in their new life. People go to the temple in the morning on Loy Krathong to "make merit" as part of the holiday.

Transliteration

Wan Pen Duan Sip Song
Nam Koh Nong Tem Taling
Rao Tanglai Shai Ying
Sanuk Ganjing Wan Loy Krathong
Loy Loy Krathong
Loy Loy Krathong,
Loy Krathong Gan Laew
Koh Shern Nong Kaew
Ook Ma Ram Wong
Ram Wong Wan Loy Krathong
Ram Wong Wan Loy Krathong
Boon Ja Song Hai Rao Suk Jai
Boon Ja Song Hai Rao Suk Jai

The Loi Krathong or Floating Lanterns Festival takes place on the night of the full moon in the 12th lunar month, which is usually in November. As explained above, a "Krathong" is a little ship made from banana leaves, and "Loy" is "to float". So "Loy Krathong" means "to float little ships made from banana leaves". During the evening of the festival, people all over Thailand do just that! They light candles and joss-sticks (incense), put them in their ships, and launch their Krathongs on a nearby river. They believe the little boats carry all their bad luck away. The ships themselves are an offering to the water goddess. It's also to transfer "merit" to those who have passed away. (See the note at *** above).

Loi Krathong is at the same time as the Lanna festival (northern Thai) known as "Yi Peng". In this celebration, lanterns are launched into the air in a beautiful display of lights. Check out the video below.

Comments

The English version below is more of a Thai English version than a direct translation. It seems to be sung in English in Thailand too, using these lyrics...

November's full moon shines,
Loy Krathong, Loy Krathong,
And the water's high,
In the golden river and the canal.
Loy Loy Krathong
Loy Loy Krathong
Loy Krathong is here
And everybody's full of cheer.
We're together at the canal
Everyone with his Krathong,
As we push away, we pray,
We can see a better day.

Here's a video of Ramwong Dancing...


Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Intorn Wattana for pointing out the videos of Loy Krathong.

Photo at top: Robertpollai for Wikipedia

Many thanks to Burt and Joy at Soppong River Inn in Thailand for providing the recording of Loy Krathong.

Khawp khun kha!

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