Sri Lankan dancers at Thai festival
DANCE: Sri Lankan dancers had the rare experience of being
invited to perform at the 'Loy Krathong' festival held annually in
POOJA DANCE: Sri Lankan dancers hold lighted lamps in their hands.
The 'Loy Krathong' is one of the two major festivals celebrated
throughout Thailand. The other being 'Songkran' or Thai New Year which
coincides with our own Sinhala New Year celebrations held on 13th and
'Loy Krathong' is a festival where the people float 'Krathongs' made
out of banana leaves and with a lighted candle in the middle as a
gesture of thanksgiving for the bountiful supply of water by mother
'Loy Krathong' is celebrated during the full moon period in the month
Every year the main festivity is celebrated in 'Lampang' a city about
500 kilometres north of Bangkok.
For this year's festival Sri Lanka too was invited to participate
together with dance troupes from neighbouring Laos and Xishuangbonna
city of China.
Eighteen members of the Tilak Fernando Dance Troupe participated in
this festival as guests of the Mayor of Lampang city Dr. Nimit
The Sri Lankan dancers were invited to open the daily cultural shows
with the 'Pooja' dance followed by the water pot or Kalagedi dance.
In all the Sri Lankan dancers performed at 14 different locations
during the 3-day celebrations held from November 4 to 6.
Sri Lanka had been invited to participate in these celebrations on
two other previous occasions in 1996 and 2002 when Tilak Fernando had
the opportunity of taking our dance troupes to Lampang city.
During their stay in Lampang the Sri Lankan dancers were hosted to a
dinner by the Mayor and Municipal Councillors of Lampang City and were
also special guests at the festival of decorated floats on barges and
boats on the Wong River' where over 30 floats participated.
The dancers were specially trained by veteran dancing instructress
Sunila Jayanthi Lokumana and her Daughter Madhuri Anjana.