Celeberation of Loi Krathong festival
Loy Krathong is a Thai festival held annually in Thailand and neighboring countries with significant Southwest Thai cultures. The name could be translated as “to float a ritual lamp or vessel” and comes from the tradition of making Krathong, or floats, decorated baskets that float in a river.
Where is Loi Krathong Celebrated in Thailand?
Although Loi Krathong is celebrated throughout Thailand, celebrations are more significant in some locations.
The Loi Krathong celebration, one of the most popular places to celebrate the festival, lasts about five days in Sukhothai. It is often believed to be the birthplace of the festival. In addition to the floating lights, alms donations can also be seen to Buddhist monks and various parades, dramas, performances, sound and light shows, beauty pageants, and more.
Chiang Mai in northern Thailand was the capital of the ancient Lanna kingdom and is known for celebrating the Lanna festival Yi Peng during Loi Krathong. People can enjoy the scenery of sky lanterns, colorful parades, displays, fireworks, and traditional dance performances in Chiang Mai.
Bangkok is an excellent destination for Loi Krathong because of its numerous ponds and waterways for launching the Krathong. Some popular places to let your Krathong float are the Chao Phraya River, Asiatique Riverbank, Wat Saket, Lumpini Park, and Benjasiri Park. You can enjoy traditional Loi Krathong festival displays, floating processions, and fireworks.
How is Loi Krathong Celebrated?
Thousands flock to the nearest beach or shore when the full moon rises to launch their Krathong. Thousands of lights illuminate the body of water, a sight to behold. The release of the Krathong promotes good luck, with the belief that when the Krathong floats away, the coming year will be filled with success and happiness. People often place personal items such as coins or nail clippings in the Krathong as offerings to the river spirits. Even large corporations and authorities throw Krathongs into the water.
The annual festival is celebrated with many rituals in the Buddhist temples of the region. Makeshift steps are being built in various rivers or areas of water to enable people to get into the water. You can see many stalls selling prepared food, drinks, and krathongs. The festival includes some activities such as regattas, lantern processions, and parades. Fireworks have also become commonplace in recent years.
Beauty pageants are also held, where the winner is crowned with the title of “Beauty Queen” or “Nang Noppamas.” Years ago, Nang Noppamas was the noble companion of the King of Siam, who started the festival. The Loi Krathong celebration coincides with the Lanna (or Northern Thailand), Yi Peng, or “Lantern Festival” festival. Their celebrations include:
- Lantern parades.
- Colorful lantern decorations on homes and temples.
- Lanterns launching into the night sky.
However, the law only allows people to launch their sky lanterns or “Khom Loy” on a specific date and time.
How to Release a Krathong in the Water?
Head to stalls near a river or water to choose a Krathong you like or make your own. Follow the locals to the river bank, where you can light the candles and incense sticks as soon as possible. When you’re ready to drop it, Make a wish, gently push the Krathong into the water and watch it swim away.