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Thailand - Festivals and Public Holidays

▶ Loi Krathong - The Festival of Lights

There are many legends of Loi Krathong:

  • Loi Krathong is to ask for forgiveness Pra Mae Khongkhan
  • According to Brahma belief, Loi Krathong is to worship God.
  • Loi Krathong is to welcome Buddha when he came back to the world, he had stayed in the Buddhist temple during the rainy season.
  • Loi Krathong is to worship foot-print of Buddha on the Nammathanati River beach.
  • Loi Krathong is to worship Chulamanee in the heaven where the Buddhas hair is buried.
  • Loi Krathong is to worship Bhakabhrama in heaven
  • Loi Krathong is to worship Uppakutta-dhera who observed religious precept at the middle portion of the sea.

The history of Loy Krathong is rather obscure. Some believe that Krathong was first created by Tao Sri Chulalak or Nang Noppamas in Sukothai. Others overlook its origin and instead focus on the purposes of the ritual: to pay respect to the Goddess of the Water showing their gratitude on their plentiful use of water and ask for forgiveness in the ensuing pollution. Floating the beautiful Krathong away, which is the key activity in Loy Krathong, also refers to flying away misfortune and bad things in the past and asking for good luck in the future. Although it is not a national holiday, many activities other than floating Krathong, are conducted during this festival. Examples of these activities are contests activities are contests involving Krathong-making and Noppamas beauty pageants, local games and performances and fireworks.

In November some may wonder what is going on in Thailand when one sees travel magazine ads and posters at hotels showing Thai girls dressed in traditional Thai clothing with beautiful floating objects. This simply indicates that Loy Krathong is on its way. In Thai "Loy" means to float and "Krathong" means a circular floating object with decoration of banana leaves, flowers, a candle and incense sticks. All these are related to Loy Krathong, an event which does not occur on the same date every year; instead it is based on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, which usually falls in November. In 2010 it was held on November 21. In 2011 Loy Krathong Day will be celebrated on November 10. People look forward to going out and launching Krathongs together to predict their romance future by the direction the Krathongs float. However, this season is also good for strengthening relationship in the family.

The floating of a Krathong is signifies floating away ill fortune as well as expressing apologies to Khongkha or Ganga, the River Goddess. Some believe that the ritual is meant to worship the Buddha's footprint on the bank of the Narmada River, while others say that it is to pay respects to Phra Uppakhut, one of the Lord Buddha's great disciples. The Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated nationwide in Thailand, especially where there are rivers, canals or sources of water, with different unique characteristics.

In Bangkok you will never miss a Loy Krathong festival. Popular places for Loy Krathong include Chao Phraya River, Rama IIX Bridge, Santichaiprakan Park on Phra Artit Road, Benjasiri Park or Queen's Park on Sukhumvit Road, Benjakiti Park on Ratchada Pisek Road and other waterways and universities. These venues tend to have a lot of people and it could be very crowded. Many of the hotel and waterside restaurant offer Loy Krathong dinners and cruises. If you don't want to go into the crowd, you can still view the Loy krathong celebrations virtually at As the end of the year draws nearer, the more preparations and setting up there are for this festival. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 01, 2020