Another Awesome Thai Festival:
I’ve waxed lyrical about the Thai festival ‘Song Kran’ on my site countless times before, but Loi Krathing is another festival that should demand your attendance too. Less chaotic and fast paced than Song Kran, Loi Krathong is a more spiritual calmer, more serene event.
Loi Krathong is a nationwide Thai festival celebrated in the evening of the full moon in the 12th month according to Thai Lunar calendar (November 10th for 2011, November 28th for 2012). The meaning of the word ‘Loi’ is to float and ‘Krathong’ is an item made out of a section of the trunk of banana tree. The banana leaves are folded and decorated with candles, flowers and incense sticks and a coin of low value is offered to the river spirits, ‘Mae Nam’ – the float is then sent down a river, off into the distance amongst the thousands of other Krathongs.
This festival is big news in Thailand and there’s a real buzz around the cities during the time. Corporations and government offices participate in this festival, there are huge firework competitions, and annual beauty contests (‘Nopphamat Queen Contests’) offer a great view!
Planning to be a part of this festival this year? Learn something more about this awesome Thai festival.
Loy Krathong the celebration of love
According to the legend it is believed that the consort of ‘King Ramkhamhaeng’ named Nang Nopamas was the first to make an offering of Krathong in the name of ‘Mae Nam’. She had floated the offering in a canal so that it would float past the King whom she loved. Even today it is believed that a love affair would last for a life time if one offers Krathong to the water God.
Loy Krathong in Bangkok
Although this day is not an official holiday, it is the most romantic and spritual festival in Thailand and is celebrated all over the country. In Bangkok the festival is celebrated on the banks of ‘Chao Phraya River’. It is also celebrated in large restaurants with indoor pools but you’ll need to book these restaurants in advance to enjoy a sure-fire romantic winner with your new beau here. Never miss the Loy Krathong celebration in Bangkok with lots of celebration, love, cruises and dinners.
Celebration at Sukhothai: You can also visit Sukhothai which is the birthplace of this grand festival. ‘Phao Thian Len Fi’ in Sukhothai is all decked up in grand fashion. Here you can also enjoy betel-nut floating called ‘Phanom Mak’ and floral offering named ‘Phanom Dok Mai’ The people over there enjoy a light and sound show every year, free entry and it’s a sight to behold.
Celebration at Chiang Mai: Loy Krathong continues for nearly a week in Chiang Mai and it’s my favourite place to celebrate Loi Krathong. The roads virtually close dow, with stage shows taking over all over town. There are beauty contents where the contestants along with their krathong has a chance of winning the coveted ‘Miss Nopamas’ title. There is a huge procession that starts at Tapae Gate and it ends at the river bank. Chiang Mai is hugely popular for Loi Krathong so if you want to join the party try to book your accommodation in advance, this place fills up fast!
*A top tip for Loi Krathong in Chaing Mai: Check out Mae Jo university outside the city for the most amazing communual release of candle lanterns into the night sky – one of the most beautiful things I have ever, ever seen.
Celebration at Ayutthaya and Tak: Loy Krathong is also celebrated grandly in Ayutthaya the former captial, where you can enjoy a boat race and in ‘Tak’ along the ‘Ping River’. As the night falls, the party starts and the whisky can start flowing quite quickly. The tourists and local citizens float their own decorated krathong and enjoy the grand celebration together.
Mark it in your calenders guys – this festival could prove to be a highlight of your whole trip, if you’re in the area around the time of Loi Krathong, do your best to make it to one of these hotspots for a magical experience. Happy Travels!