Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated every year in Thailand in all major cities following the Thai tradition. The festival is often celebrated at the end of the rainy season typically in the month of November the 12th lunar month according to the Thai traditional calendar. The dates change every year and this year’s Loy Krathong Festival falls on the 23rd of November.
The biggest celebration is conducted in the Chiang Mai (though the festival is also celebrated in Phuket and Samui as well) which lasts for three full days. The festival usually happens at the night when people offer their gratitude and respect to the water goddess for a year full of blessings and to pray for the good luck in coming years also. People from all around the country gather around the canals and lakes or even ponds to release lanterns into the sky. Many believe that they are releasing their anger and hatred along with the lanterns.
The Festival is full of various fun activities like parades, competitions and so much more. Local people pass out homemade krathongs or lanterns with other food and drink items at the ports and other locations where the festival is expected to be celebrated. There are also other cultural activities celebrated alongside the festival like ‘Ram Wong’ dance presentations, Krathong-crafting competitions and also a beauty contest.
You must be wondering what is Loy Krathong! Loy is a Thai verb meaning “To Float” and Krathong vary in its significance, regarding the festival it means by the small flat container made of banana leaves and decorated with flowers, incense
and candles this leads to the full meaning of the festival as “Floating of Basket” and that is what people during the Loy Krathong Festival.
The history of the Loy Krathong Festival Follows many traditions and Thai people celebrate it for different reasons. One of them is the tradition of Sukhothai and is said that a court lady so-called Nopphamat started it. People flow these lanterns in the air as a conduct of thanksgiving to the water goddess for the abundance of the water during the rice crop season and some believe that it a chaste chance to purify our souls from any grudges we might have also including a fingernail or a piece of hair is seen as a way to cleanse your soul of any ill will. It is believed that is the candles stay lit till the lanterns float away from the sight it indicates the year of good luck ahead.
Other than various riverside locations and Lakes that host this festival there are some hotels near Chiang Mai who offer to float lanterns at the pool area combined with special dinners and fireworks. The beautiful view of lanterns filling the sky is a miraculous sight for the eyes and unmistakably worth seeing. The Day before Loy Krathong is Yee Peng and this festival is all about lanterns is celebrated on a bigger level in Chiang Mai. During the days of Yee Peng, you can see lanterns floating everywhere and all the places including temples are bright with lights coming from the lanterns. Though it is not as fun as before because of the danger to the air traffic the releasing of the lanterns been cut down. The law is strictly enforced and the lanterns are allowed to be released during some of the fixed hours.
Don’t forget to have fun with the Loy Krathong Festival this year. Hope you enjoy.