The evening of Loi Krathong remains one of Thailand's most beautiful festivals. This is an event that brings people together besides lakes, rivers, and other water bodies to pay homage to the river goddess with the release of good-looking lotus-formed rafts that is adorned with candles, incense, and flowers on the water bodies. The scenery of Krathongs in their thousands in addition to their burning candles giving out one thousand pinpoints of light far into the skyline is an enchanted location. There are other locations in Thailand where you can partake in these events.
The Loi Krathong is one of those events that you can't afford to miss and if possible, which you must be included on your most important tasks while in Thailand. These events are one of that kind that gives kids memories that linger on in their hearts.
This event normally comes up in the evening of the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar although the date fluctuates typically on an annual basis. 2018 edition comes between 21 and 23 of November. Loy Krathong usually falls in November.
The origin of the Loy Krathong Festival cannot be ascertained. There are some claims that the festival started in Sukhothai and that a lawyer by the name Nopphamat organized the first edition. Some others people believe that it was one of the Brahmanic festivals which was later modified by Thai Buddhist to honour the Buddha. Nevertheless, the ritual of Loy Krathong is about paying homage to the Water Goddess as a sign of gratitude for the plentiful use of water and asks for forgiveness in the ensuing pollution. The festival is all about getting rid of calamity and bad luck that happened in the past while also asking for good fortunes in the future. For this people float a "Krathong" in the river.
The Meaning of Loy Krathong
What is the meaning of Loy Krathong? The word Loy (ลอย) is a verb which translates as 'float' while there are different meanings for the word 'Krathong.' As used in this context, 'Krathong' means a small basket or bowl made from the leaves of banana, decorated with flowers, perfume, and candles. In summary, Loy Krathong means floating basket which is the culture of the Thais on one the three days of the festival. Temporary bamboo steps are built over many rivers or canals for people to get close to the water bodies. Food and drink vendors are not far from these locations wile natives who sell locally made krathongs to revellers are not now from there too. Year in, year out, Loi Krathong Festival features events like a lantern procession, boat races on the Mae Ping River, a beauty pageant, Krathong processions and contests in various centres across the entire Chiang Mai.
Place Worth Visiting during the Festival
You can enjoy this colourful event in any water body across the country. Since the event is aimed at appreciating and paying homage to the river goddess, all the river, canals, ponds, as well other water bodies will be surrounded the Thais who are eager perform their duties to the deity. Majority of the most energetic and lively cities to visit during the Loy Krathong carnival include Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok
The major Loy Krathong festival celebrated in Bangkok is the one have been held since the year 2013 at Asiatique. The event was previously held along the Wat Saket banks in the Ancient City which remains a famous place to celebrate. If you stay around Khao San Road, find your way to the closet Phra Athit Pier. Majority of the Bangkok hotels organize a Loy Krathong event at their swimming pool area (for more information about this, contact your hotel management). You can give Loy Krathong or the local 'Ram Wong' dances a trial without leaving the comfort of your hotel. Those hotels that are sited along Chao Phraya River are particularly notable for sometimes combining Loy Krathong activities with an excellent dinner and fireworks.
Riverside Locations Asiatique (Riverside)
Phra Athit Pier (Riverside/ Old City)
Wat Saket (Riverside/Old City)
Maharaj Lifestyle Mall (Riverside/Old City)
Benjasiri Park (Sukhumvit)
Popular Lakes for Floating Krathongs Lumpini Park (Silom)
Chiang Mai's Loy Krathong Carnival
The events of Loy Krathong festival last for three days in Chiang Mai. The first day is dedicated to the lantern festival while the full moon day is celebrated on the second day. There are processions on the three days of the festival along Thapae Road. Since Loy Krathong is not an official Thailand public holiday, all the events are held in the night.
Loy Krathong Festival overlaps with the Lanna festival popularly known as Yi Peng or Yee Peng in northern Thailand. This collision makes Chiang Mai festival experience an extraordinary one. Yee Peng is all about lanterns. The day preceding Loy Krathong is referred to as Yee Peng.
Meanwhile throughout the three-day events, you will see lanterns all over the place. Residences and temples are adorned with lanterns while on the nightfall of day one of the festivals; there is a fabulous lantern procession in Chiang Mai. The most stunning part used to be the release of hundreds of lanterns. The mass release of lanterns into the atmosphere used to take place very close to Mae Jo University. Of recent, there has been a restriction on release of lanterns into the sky to prevent air traffic threat. So, no more mass release of lanterns while the only exception is during the agreed hours of full moon evening. Aside the full moon night, the restriction law is strictly enforced. Some profitable small-scale sky lantern events include dinner.
Phuket's Loy Krathong Festival
In the early hours before the sunset, you'll observe many makeshift kiosks selling krathongs along Phuket streets. You can choose to purchase one or make one if you think you think you're creative enough for every member of your entourage. These flower-shielded mini-hovers complete with candles and fragrance sticks, often reminiscent of lotus flowers, are an indispensable part of promoting the good fortune during the festival. As the sun dips below the vanishing point and the full moon begins to rise into the night sky, take your Krathong to the nearby beach, lake or any water body and release it with the outgoing drift or current. The belief is that if the Krathong drifts away from you, the coming year will bring you a good fortune but if it floats back towards the shore, then possibly your luck might not be what you have expected.