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 Thailand.


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 14th April.

'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 native.

'Loy Krathong' is celebrated during the full moon period in the month of November.

Every year the main festivity is celebrated in 'Lampang' a city about 500 kilometres north of Bangkok.

Dance troupes

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 Jirasantikaru.

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.

Celebrations

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.

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