The night sky in Chiang Rai was extraordinarily bright tonight. It's the Kum Loy (lantern floats) festival, an annual event in November when the moon is full. It's also the time for Loy Krathong (floating flower) festival.
Lights and skies are universal symbols of hope and heavens for many cultures. My friends and I learned to be tolerant and appreciative when our host invited us to release a couple of lanterns into the sky. For Kum Loy, the Thais would traditionally make a prayer or wish before letting the lantern fly towards the 'heaven'. And in Loy Krathong, they pray for all their sins to get washed away just as the flower basket floats and drifts in the river.
In any case, for all things physical, we try to see the realities (haqiqa) of every deed. May Allah protect us from shirik jalli (apparent polytheism) and syirik khafi (hidden polytheism). La ilaha illAllah. There is no god but Allah.
A musafir's travelogue