Chiang Mai & Sydney

‘Loi Krathong’ is one of the two major holidays in Thailand that is held magnificently in mid-December based on the Thai calendar. The people would load small boats, which are made of banana leaves in the shape of small lotuses (Krathong), with lit candles, incense, flowers, and coins, and allow them to float on a river or lake as the people make wishes. The belief that their wishes would come true when the boats float far away with the candle lit creates a beautiful scene where countless Krathongs float like flowers that light up the surface of the water. Loi Krathong takes several forms in different regions. Most regions float Krathong made of banana leaves along the rivers; however, Chiang Mai is known for releasing floating lanterns into the sky. They launch the lanterns called ‘Khome Loi’ in order to make wishes upon the gods in the sky, as they believed that their sorrow and misfortune will be concealed where the lanterns fall. The lanterns light up the night sky as stars to beautifully brighten the streets of Chiang Mai and the faces of the people. On the other hand, the people of Tak gather by the river bank in order to float hundreds of Krathong made of coconut bark, as they enjoy dancing and singing all night.

Australia has seasons that are exactly opposite to those of Korea, and the Australians celebrate a special winter festival in May and June. ‘Vivid Sydney’ is a festival of ‘light, music, and ideas’ that turns the entire city of Sydney into a massive art museum and concert hall. Various LED structures are installed throughout the city, and the lights that are designed by creative young artists liven up the whole area. The Opera House, which is the landmark of Sydney, becomes a great canvas for the artists. The highlight of the festival is the ‘vivid light’ drawn on the Opera House in bright colors and slightly avant-garde forms. They do not cease at the presentation of the new lighting technology, but instead, they allow the guests to experience some kind of artistic power produced by the light and how much it can magically transform the spaces. The art of light fills every corner of Sydney with interesting stories. However, music should not be missed. The entire performing venues in Sydney are linked with the festival in order to attract visitors with various musical events. The Opera House conducts programs that will introduce the most popular musicians and artists in Australia for a more strengthened artistic infrastructure of the local communities. The cold oceanic winds cannot combat this heat. The winter nights painted with mesmerizingly colorful lights are as special as the sunshine in Australia that everyone loves.