Loy Krathog, Lord Mayor’s Day
Loy Krathog is the traditional wishing festival of Thailand. On this day, small boats are fashioned from banana peels and lotus leaves. When the sun sets, people take their boats to the shore, where they fill them with offerings of incense and gardenia petals. A white candle is then placed in the boat along with a wish. The boats are then set adrift on the water. It is believed that if the candle in the boat stays lit until its owner can no longer see, then the wish will be granted.
After the calendar reform of 1752 the Lord Mayor’s Day was moved from October 28 to November 9. It is on this day that “Mock Mayors” are elected in many of the poorer English towns. The elections are designed to poke good-natured fun at some of the more prestigious municipalities and their sometimes times pompous politicians. Of course, the more offensive the candidate is, the more joy in having him take the podium, whereupon a cabbage stalk is presented to him to serve as hiis mayoral mace. The festivities are usually followed by somewhat raucous behavior and of course the usual drinking and feasting.