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Kratong Float Festival in Okinawa highlights Thai culture

Date Posted: 2003-11-09

“Loy Kratong Festival” or “Kratong Float Festival” is one of Thailand’s oldest traditions, in which Thai Buddhists float the “Kratong” to show gratitude to water spirits or River Goddess Mae Khong Kha. The “Kratong” is a lotus-shaped float made of a horizontally cut banana tree trunk, approximately two to two and half inches thick, and adorned with deftly folded banana leaves and flowers with incense joss sticks in the middle.

Everyone in Okinawa may now experience this colorful tradition as the first Traditional Thai Festival in Okinawa takes place at Jai Thai Restaurant at Okinawa Carnival Park in Mihama. The Royal Thai Consulate in Naha, the Okinawa-Thai Friendship Association and the Institute of Thai Cultural Promotion are sponsoring the event.

The festival runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. The even highlights include a Thai Buffet Dinner, all you can drink or eat, at Jai Thai Restaurant (2nd floor under the Ferris wheel), a traditional Thai dance show by members of various Thai groups in Okinawa, a Miss Lotus Beauty Pageant and a Kratong contest.

Admission to the event, including the dinner, is Y1,500 for adults, and Y700 for children 7~12 years of age. Children under 7 are free. Reservations are recommended. For information and tickets, call Tassarin Nemeth at 090-4471-0171 or 090-9788-2112 or e-mail tassarin@nemeths.us

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