Loy Krathong Festival of Lights Thailand
November in Thailand, a time for celebration, where the moon glistens in the tides around the country and locals flock to the waters to send off their offerings. Yes, you guessed it, it’s Loy Krathong, or the festival lights, and one of the biggest celebrations in Thailand.
What is Loy Krathong?
Every 12th month of the Thai Lunar calendar on the night of the full moon is the day that Loy Krathong is celebrated to pay respects to the Goddess of water or Pra Mae Khongkha. This year the Festival Lights will take place between 6 and 8 November, the main festivities happening on Tuesday the 8th.
“Loy” meaning to “to float” and “krathong” refers to a small offering or basket that is normally made out of a slice of trunk from a banana tree or banana leaves. Loy Krathong is not only one of the most important festivals in local culture but has also become a highlight for travelers visiting the country. This occasion exudes happiness and prospects of new beginnings which is represented by the rivers and waters being lit up by Krathongs around the country.
Fun Fact: Locals sometimes add bits of their own hair or nails on to their Krathong as they believe this will help them let go of bad luck.
Said to have originated around 800 years ago in the ancient Sukhothai Kingdom, the story tells of Nang Nappamus, a concubine of the Kingdom. During a celebration where royals give offerings to Buddha, Nang created a beautiful float like no one had seen before that was shaped like lotus, the symbol for rebirth and decorated it with bird figures.
It is specifically a good time to be in Northern Thailand namely Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong as it is celebrated in conjunction with the Yi Peng Festival. The Yi Peng festival sees people releasing lanterns are released into the sky and that with the Krathong lit up in the river makes for an unforgettable sight.
Fun fact: Loi Krathong is consider to be the most romantic even of the year in Thailand you will see couples everywhere. Lovers will float their Kratongs on the river together in the hopes that float away side by side representing a good sign for their relationship. Comically some Thai people add money to their Kathnongs as an offering for their love but there are some sneaky people that wait down the river and collect the cash for themselves, hopefully their blessings still come true.
If you are in Thailand and want to see where the best places are to celebrate check this link.