GB2371: Sunday 6 November: Loy Krathong Festival at the Thai Temple near Wimbledon


Message 2371:

SUNDAY 6 NOVEMBER (afternoon): LOY KRATHONG FESTIVAL at the THAI TEMPLE near WIMBLEDON (free event with no booking required)

(Optional) Meeting, Transport and Venue Details:  Meet Gordon on Sunday 6 November, between 12.50pm and 1pm, outside Wimbledon Park (not Wimbledon) tube station (District Line, Zone 3) for a pleasant 30-to-40-minute walk (around 1 1/2 miles or 2 1/2 km) to the Thai Temple (Wat Buddhapadipa), 14 Calonne Road, SW19 5HJ. For a change, we will walk along Home Park Road instead of staying on Arthur Road. To view a map showing the location of the temple, click on . The blue patch below the arrow indicates the lake in the grounds of the temple. To go home, turn left on leaving the temple (the opposite way from the way you arrived, if you arrived with me) and take bus 93 from the Calonne Road stop in Parkside towards either Wimbledon or Putney, for the District Line from Wimbledon or Putney Bridge, or National Rail from Wimbledon or Putney for stations to Waterloo. You can also travel this way to get to the temple if you want to avoid the walk or if you plan to arrive earlier or later than the main group. However, if you go on your own, you might not find the rest of us as it is likely to be crowded. Anyone going by car should expect a long walk after finding a parking space as this is a very popular event. This is our first time to go to this festival as a group since 2012, but some of you will remember joining me for Songkran (Thai New Year) which is held every April.

The Festival:  This event starts at 9am with religious (Buddhist) activities, and cultural activities (including Thai dancing and singing and a beauty contest) begin around 1pm, and the day ends around 5pm. These activities will be outdoors, so I suggest you dress appropriately. There will be many Thai food stalls, so bring enough money for lunch. If you stay until about 4.30pm/5pm, you may be able to buy cooked food at bargain prices. "Loy" means "to float" and "Krathong" is a lotus-shaped vessel originally made from banana leaves. Krathongs contain a candle, 3 joss-sticks, and perhaps some flowers and coins, and are pushed out on the lake at about 3.30pm/4pm (when it starts to get dark). This is a festival of Brahmin origin in which people offer thanks to the Goddess of the water. Krathongs are believed to carry away sins and bad luck. Go to and scroll down to see a flyer, and to read about Loy Krathong.

SUMMARY OF FUTURE EVENTS (more details nearer the time, except where full details have already been posted)

Sat 29 and Sun 30 Oct: Dance Around the World ( ), Camden Town (reduced price of £8, normally £17, each day for "Gordon's friends" on the door, with no booking required - click on for details) - REMEMBER - CLOCKS GO BACK AN HOUR ON SUNDAY MORNING;

Thurs 3 Nov: London International Concert Orchestra with violinist Alda Dizdari ( ) play Elgar and Brahms at St. James's, Piccadilly, in a concert starting at 7.30pm (50 complimentary seats, but advance booking with Peter Harris required by 6pm on Tues 1 Nov - click on for details);

Sun 6 Nov, 12.50pm/1pm: Wimbledon Park tube to go to the Loy Krathong festival at the Thai Temple (details above);

Sat 12 Nov, 1pm/1.10pm: Blackfriars tube to go to the Lord Mayor's Show (free event with no booking required);

Sun 20 Nov, 3pm/3.10pm: Turnham Green tube to go to Chiswick Catholic Centre, 2 Dukes Avenue, W4 2AE, for a wine tasting event running from 3pm to 7pm ((half-price tickets - £7.50 - for "Gordon's friends" when booked/paid through Eventbrite - click on for details).