Mon, Nov 10, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Thai workers celebrate Loy Krathong

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Bureau of Labor Affairs held a Loy Krathong Festival for Thai migrant workers in 228 Peace Park yesterday.

"Labor's contribution to society is cross-national. By getting to know the respective cultures of foreign workers, we are able to understand more about their customs and thus learn to treat them equally," said bureau Director Yen Hsiang-luan (嚴祥鸞).

"The objective of this celebration is to give the Thai migrant workers the opportunity to have the same atmosphere in Taiwan amid their busy schedules. The celebration also gives Taipei residents a glimpse of this Thai traditional festival," the bureau said.

The afternoon celebration attracted hundreds of Thai migrant workers and curious Taipei residents. Activities included music performances by bands made up of Thai workers, a Loy Krathong demonstration as well as the release of krathong floats and a prayer ceremony.

Loy Krathong is an annual Thai festival in which Thais give thanks to the water goddess for all the blessings they have received throughout the year.

Loy means to float and a krathong is a lotus-shaped vessel made out of banana leaves, holding candles and incense sticks. Traditionally, the festival is held at night, as Thais release their individual krathong into a nearby canal, river or other body of water.

Amporn Chang is a middle-aged chef from Chiangmai who is working in a Taipei restaurant. Chang got a day off from work to join the celebrations at the 228 Peace Park.

"Loy Krathong is a very important celebration in Thailand. It is almost like the Chinese New Year where family members come together on this day to float krathong," Chang said.

Chang and her husband have been working in Taiwan for five years. They have no children.

"Today, my husband is here with me in the park to celebrate this festival, which is important to us," she said.

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