Songkhla’s raft festival promises a good year ahead

SONGKHLA (The Nation/ANN): In a century-old tradition, residents of a small locale in Songkhla floated a raft carrying their possessions on a lake, assured that the goddess of the water will shield them from grief, illness and disaster in the year ahead.

The people of Takhria subdistrict and the vicinity gathered for the annual floating raft festival on Thursday (Jan 2) at Wat Waree Pa Mok.Akin to the small floats used in the Songkran festival, the raft is seen as carrying away their troubles and returning with good health and prosperity.

The ritual begins with the raft being carried around the temple grounds as the faithful grasp a sacred thread tied to an onboard post.

The raft – filled with belongings, incense, candles and flowers symbolising people’s suffering and sickness – is then floated on Songkhla Lake.

There is no sense of sombreness to the festival, however, but rather only lively optimism, with the residents constantly dancing within the temple and alongside the raft on its way to and from the lake. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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