Phuket.Net – The Chao Ley (sea gypsy) Boat Floating Festival 2011 is running from 13 to 15 November
Added: (Fri Oct 21 2011)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
Phuket.Net confirms the dates for the upcoming Chao Ley (sea gypsy) Boat Floating Festival 2011 in Phuket Thailand. The event will be held from the 13th to the 15th November.
Similar in purpose; purging the sins of the old year, to the Loi Krathong festival held on the 10th November, the Chao Ley Festival occurs twice a year, in July and November, the sixth and eleventh lunar months.
The event is spread over three days at a number of ‘sea gypsy’ villages across the island and is characterised by ceremonies that take place during the night. They involve the most beautifully crafted vessels being pushed out to sea to make peace with the departing year and purge the people of their sins, both real and imagined.
The villages of Rawai, near Chalong Bay, and Sapam enact their elaborate and colourful torch-lit ceremonies on the 13th; on 14th, Koh Sirey takes over and on 15th it is Laem La’s turn, on the northernmost tip of Phuket, east of the bridge. The craft are ceremonially carved and according to strict tradition, decked out with candles and pushed off into the sea to please the ancestors. This is known as ‘Kabang floating,’ which removes bad luck and sickness from the community. Singing and praying accompany the event and visitors are welcome to watch.
A number of other events also occur around the main boat-launching, including music, dance, fortune-telling and ancestor worship, as well as ‘spirit dwelling’ rituals.
There are numerous hotels and guesthouses in and around the Phuket area to accommodate visitors throughout this unique and moving festival.