What is the Loy Krathong Festival?
Does the name sound familiar? No? Well, even if you don’t know what the Loy Krathong festival is, you are likely familiar with what it typically looks like thanks to the many amazing photos being taken of it every year. Also known as the lantern festival, in 2015 the festival will be held between the 24th and the 26th of November. There is no better time than now to get organised if you’re looking to attend.
So, what is the Loy Krathong Festival?
A festival held annually throughout Thailand, the Loy Krathong festival is held during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. The name of the festival can be translated into “to float a basket” and originated from the tradition of people floating decorated baskets (Krathongs) on rivers, canals or ponds, making a wish as they release. The idea behind the baskets is to put all your misfortunes in the boat, and let them float away. Large corporation and Government offices release large decorated Krathongs, there are often competitions for the best one and beauty contests and fireworks have become common features of the festival.
Traditional Krathongs are made from the trunk of a banana tree, and are decorated with intricately folded banana leaves, flowers, incense sticks and candles. In recent times however, the krathongs have been made from biodegradable materials, such as bread, which will break down after a few days, and fish are able to eat the bread. Sometimes a small coin can also be placed in the Krathong, as an offering to the water spirits, where many Thai people use their Krathong to thank the Goddess of Water, Phra Mae Khongkha, since the festival usually comes after harvest time for many crops.
The Loy Krathong festival also coincides with the northern Thai festival known as Yi Peng. For this festival, thousands of floating Lanna style sky lanterns are released, which can be described as thousands of fluorescent jellyfish floating through the night sky. The lanterns are made from rice paper and a bamboo frame, which makes them very light, while a candle is lit inside the lantern. The hot air from the candle works in the same way it does in a hot air balloon, and the lantern floats off into the air.
During this time, people also decorate their gardens, houses, temples and buildings with beautiful paper lanterns. Together with the floating lanterns and baskets, it is easy to see how the festival came to be known as the lantern festival.
Where can I attend the festival?
Most major cities and destinations celebrate the festival, and put on amazing shows for visitors attending the festival. Bangkok and Phuket are obvious choices, but other incredible travel destinations such as Koh Samui are perfect, as the festivals are very welcoming to tourists. We can highly recommend attending the festival in either Phuket or Koh Samui, as you will not only be experiencing the amazing festivities, but also have a tropical paradise around you to explore afterwards. The beautiful beaches and amazing accommodation will make a great holiday a perfect one.
Where to stay?
If you would like to attend, why not spend the time in a luxury Thai villa? Browse our amazing properties in Thailand now.