Loi Krathong 2015 – When Delhi got lit-up once again after Diwali

2:51 PM Naina Madan 0 Comments

Every year, as Diwali approaches, I am very kicked about it. It happens to be my most favorite festival and the very next day, I go in to those terrible post-Diwali blues phase. 

But this year was different. Soon as Diwali ended, a friend and a fellow travel blogger, Akanksha, asked me if I would be interested in accompanying her to Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi where they were going to recreate and celebrate Loi Krathong, Thai festival on the lines of Diwali. You can understand my joy, right?! Of course I said yes!

Just like Diwali, Loi Krathong has deeper cultural meaning for Thailand and its people. Loi, means 'to float' and krathong is a 'basket'. So literally it means floating a basket. Traditionally krathong is made with banana leaves but these days you can also find krathong made of styrofoam as well, which obviously is not very environment-friendly. These handmade krathongs are then adorned with incense sticks and candles. 

On the full moon night of the 12th month of traditional calendar, people light the candles in their krathongs, put a coin for good luck and float it in the river, pond or lake, and making a wish while doing so. This is done to pay respects to god of water, ask for forgiveness for causing harm to water and pray for good luck and health. The festival holds special significance in the life of Thai couples who float the krathongs together with a prayer for river god. 

Needless to add, when hundreds and thousands of such lit-up baskets make way in the river, the river comes alive even in the darkness of night. 

Let me take you to a quick trip to that night when Delhi lit-up againg, not on Diwali but for Loi Krathong.

Beautiful krathong all set with candles and incense sticks
Colorful and delicate
Don't you just love the colors and lights here? :)
Thai dancers from Chiang Mai
A synchronized performance with so much elegance
Thai boxers putting up a formidable performance
And then we made a wish and set it afloat
The pool became all lit-up with lit-up krathongs, so magical!


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8 Reasons Festa De Diu Is THE Place To Be This Winter

2:50 AM Naina Madan 2 Comments

Now if you are anything like me, someone who dreads winters and given a chance would love to hibernate for 3 months and come back once the fog is gone, this is FOR YOU!

As the winters are approaching slowly and steadily, with the fog, smog and morning nip, my travel plans seem to have taken a backseat as well. I really do not like heading out with layers on the body and stress on my mind. My love for mountains gets dormant too this time of the year.

When, my travelling chicas, gypsies-at-heart friends Akanksha, Manjulika and Aditi brought up a travel plan in our group chat, it was not another hill or a cityscape. It was Diu and the longest beach festival that happens on the beaches of Diu, Festa De Diu. Of course, they had me at the beach! Lying on the sand on a sunny day was my takeaway from that chat. But hey wait! There was a longest beach festival too, they mentioned.

I read about it and well, I am already planning my escape from Delhi winters. And there is not just one reason of it being a beach (obviously, that’s a sweet deal), there are some more reasons that I am sold on this.

Take a look.

1. Not one weekend or two. Festa De Diu runs for more than TWO MONTHS!

If not December, it can be planned any time all through January and till February. From a Christmas and New Year escape to a detox week in January to a romantic Valentine’s. Definitely being the ‘longest beach festival in Asia’ title is justified, I say.

2. Ease of booking. Literally

Just book for the tent and with that you get to enjoy ALL the performances happening right there! No hassle of buying the tickets of events separately

3. Benny Dayal, Neeraj Sridhar, Shubha Mudgal and Indian Ocean are my reasons

You can take your pick from over 20 musicians, 15 bands, 10 standup comedians and other star performers. Super, isn’t it?

4. The adrenaline rush of adventure sports

Yup. Right at the time of booking your accommodation, you can book from a range of adventure activities that will be happening at the festival, like hot air balloon, bungee jumping and zip lining.

I am most thrilled about hot air balloon ride over the gorgeous Arabian Sea.

5. Festival Village is nothing short of luxury

Tents that redefine camping, with fine-dining, spa and blue waters in front of it, spending a blissful one week seems like a plan already.

6. One week. One mood.

 Wellness, Colors of India, Laughter, Dance, Rhythm & Blues, Arts are just some of the themes of the weeks of the festival. Look at the calendar and plan around the week basis what mood you are in.

7. Music, food, starlit sky and ocean

Camping under a starlit sky on the beach in the month of December. I wouldn’t have thought about it otherwise, sitting under a blanket right now and typing this. Sigh…I am dreaming and drooling already.

8. Nearby attractions are no less ordinary

Now when you are taking off a week and headed that part of the country, might as well pay a visit to the majestic Asiatic Lion at Gir National Forest that lies just 67 kms from Diu. About 90 kms drive from Diu will take you to the famous Somnath Temple.

For a change, this winter is shining brightly. What are you thinking? Need more reasons? Go ahead, plan your trip.

Check out Festa De Diu official website if you need more information.

All pictures courtesy Fest De Diu.


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