Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Angels

I am the luckiest "paw paw" in the world! My Christmas Angels!
Elizabeth is 5 years old.
Abigail is 9 years old.

It does not get any better that this!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Loy Krathong Festival 2010 Dallas Texas Photos

At the Loy Krathong Festival 2010 on display was a drawing of the new Wat that is being built now. It will be so beautiful.

The singing contest was very entertaining.

Nang, Paul (my brother) & my son Chris. Chris was having such a fun day singing and enjoying the Festival.

The Dancers were just wonderful and costumes were so complex with all sort of gold etc.

All of the contestants for a group photo!

Now you see why I am the luckiest man in the world!

The winners and number 1 is on the right. Sorry I do not have their names.

Of course we floated the special Loy Krathong rafts.

We closed the evening with a wonderful Thai dinner.

Loy Krathong (or Loi Krathong, Thai ลอยกระทง) is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand.

Loy Krathong is held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.

"Loy" means "to float". "Krathong" is a raft about a handspan in diameter traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk (although modern-day versions use specially made bread and may use styrofoam), decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks etc. The reason for using breads to make a raft is to protect the environment. Since having many rafts in the river can create a huge water pollution problem. Bread will eventually become food for fish and other animals in the river. Even though banana leaves are biodegradable, it takes longer time to be degraded than a bread. Therefore, bread is the most environmental friendly choice to make a raft.

During the night of the full moon, many people will float a small raft on a river. Thai people believe that floating a raft in the river is to honor and pay respect to the Goddess of Water. Also floating a raft in the river is to apologize to the Goddess of the Water for the bad things we have done to the river during the past year. That is why Long Krathong festival is held at the end of the year. Governmental offices, corporations and other organizations also build much bigger and more elaborate rafts, and these are often judged in contests. In addition, fireworks and beauty contests take place during the festival.
Letting a Khom Fai float in to the air at the Loy Kratong festival in Mae Jo
Thousands of Khom Fai in Mae Jo

According to the writings of H.M. King Rama IV in 1863, the originally Brahmanical festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honour the original Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama. Apart from venerating the Buddha with light (the candle on the raft), the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one's grudges, anger and defilements, so that one can start life afresh on a better foot. People will also cut their fingernails and hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of oneself. Many Thai believe that floating a krathong will create good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha (พระแม่คงคา).

The beauty contests that accompany the festival are known as "Noppamas Queen Contests". According to legend, Noppamas was a consort of the Sukothai king Loethai (14th century) and she was the first to float decorated krathongs. The Loy Krathong festival is also associated with the start of vegetable carving.

The Thai tradition of Loy Kratong started off in Sukhothai, but is now celebrated throughout Thailand, with the festivities in Chiang Mai and Ayutthaya being particularly well known. In the northern part of Thailand, people celebrate the festival with "Kom Loi" as well. People usually create "Kom Loi" from a thin fabric and let the air inside so that "Kom Loi" can go up in the air like a balloon. This tradition is called "Yi Peng" meaning to celebrate goodness (tam-boon) in the 12th month in Thai lunar calendar. "Yi Peng" festival attracts many tourists both foreigner and Thai people from other parts of Thailand to join and see "Kom Loi" gos up in the air.

Loy Kratong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as "Yi Peng", which, due to a difference between the old Lanna calendar and the Thai calendar, is held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar. A multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom fai or khom loi) are launched into the air where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the skies. These are believed to help rid the locals of troubles and are also taken to decorate houses and streets. The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai, the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom. In the merging of the Yi Peng festival with Loy Krathong, now too thousands of people assemble to float the banana-leaf krathong onto the waterways of Chiang Mai at the same time, honouring the Goddess of Water.

Kelantan also has the same celebration, especially in the Tumpat area. The ministry in charge of tourism in Malaysia recognises it as an attraction for tourist. Many people visit the celebration each year.

I found the above information on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Loy Krathong Festival 2010 Dallas Texas

Nang's best friend "Kwan" decided to go into the entertainment business this year for Loy Krathong Festival 2010 Dallas Texas. However she seemed a little nervous?

Kwan being pushed on stage!

So With A little help from the director!
Thais “wai” to greet people. The “wai” is a short bow done with hands held fingertips-together close to your chest or face.

Kwan On Stage With The Customary "wai"
Kwan gives a wonderful performance!

Meghan & Kwan show the happiness and love they share!
A Good Moment!

More Adulation From the Audience.

Kwan knew now she was wonderful and entertaining!
Meghan, Mike & Kwan enjoy the realization of a great performance came from all of the hard work to prepare for this event!

Nang & I realize how lucky we are to have such wonderful family as best friends!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nang's Birthday Evening

The girls allowed me to attend their "carnivorous" evening at the "Coconut Thai Grill"

Kwan, Julia & Nang

"Blood Soup or Clear Soup" (kind of a contradiction in terms?) not sure where the name's came from but here is part of the contents. Stomach, Intestines & other animal parts?

Spicy Roast Pork with vegetable & rice. The spicy is in the bowl.

Meat Balls with Lettuce & a Sweet sauce.

Fish with Lettuce Sweet Sauce.

Fried Fish with chili gravy and really good!

Fried Crab

Happy Smiles and now cake number 2

Was able to put the fire in their stomach's out also!

Special Thanks to all for making my wife's birthday a wonderful occasion. Nang wants to thank all of the folks who could not be with us on this wonderful evening but sent the wonderful email's wishing her a wonderful day!

Our family & friends are the Best!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday To Nang!

Today is Nang's 40th birthday! Most people who know her or see her thinks she is just a teenager. It is amazing how young the Asian people of the world look. Take for example me; I look 64 and with all those wrinkles and gray hair my daughter says Dad you are just old!!!

Today is Nang's day and I wish her the best!

Happy Birthday To My Wonderful Wife!