Loy Kroh Ceremony is one of the ceremonies held by the southern locals, who live near the sea, which has been influenced by the Hindus’ ritual in India since Buddha’s era, Purify Ceremony that was. Here’s the story…
Once there’s a full moon of the third lunar month, it was the first Magna Puja, in which Buddha gave 1250 Arhantas (monks), who came to see the Buddha that evening without any schedule, the principles of Buddhism, called “The Ovadhapatimokha”. The news spread to the Hindus, who also had their own god’s worshiping ceremony at the very same day, Shivaratri. Shivaratri held at night by the Ganges River, where everybody would wash theirselves and drink the water, which they believe the water would drive away devils, pain, illness and gain some happiness.
As the record, Nakon Sithammarat was the first city that Buddhism came to Thailand. Buddhism has brought many Indian and Hindus’ civilizations here, for example marriage ceremony, Kon Jook ceremony, etc.
Loy Kroh Ceremony is the ritual for taking away horrible things out of yourself and your family. They were held by the monks or Brahmans to pray against the devils. Samui locals got this influence from Nakon Srithammarat.
The ceremony usually occurs in April until May, near the beach. Each beach has its own shrine called Saan Pho Ta, resides the town protecting angel.
The ceremony starts at night, monks would pray and there’s Nora Dancing. At dawn people would cook and distribute to the monks. Then the major dancer of the 1 Nora will perform Cheek Mei (Cham Lei) Ceremony, he will inform the angel that the vows which the locals took would be complete. He will use the sacred sword, stabbing it to Ho Mei at the middle pole in front of the shrine. Then the locals will put some rice, money, hair and nails into a small raft and set it off to the sea. The leader will dress in white like Brahman, praying for driving off the evil spirits to go with that raft. Then the locals will drink the holy water and wash their faces for good luck one more year.