Thailand is a country where every other day is a celebration and people dwell in the joy of festivities. No matter if it is the new year or new moon, the Thai people are enthusiastic to celebrate every festival with great zeal and vigour. Talking about that, if you’re planning to visit Thailand in November, then the biggest celebration of the year awaits you.
The Loy Krathong or the Thai Light Festival is the biggest celebration of the year after the Thai New Year festival. With the night sky covered with brightly-lit lanterns and Krathongs floating on the water, every corner of Thailand brims with joy and vibrance of the festival. Scroll down to know everything about this Thai Light Festival and become a part of the most picturesque festival of Thailand.
Loy Krathong History
The Loy Krathong is an ancient Indic festival which was at first commemorated as a ceremony where the Thai people paid their good wishes to 3 different gods namely, the Phra Phrom (Brahma), Phra Narai (Vishnu) and Phra-ISuan (Shiva). But almost 150 years ago, on the urge of King Rama IV this festival was accepted as a ritual to honour the Buddha.
After this change, this festival is celebrated all over Thailand as a festival of lights. The people make various kind of lanterns which are donated to the temples. Apart from this people pray for the prosperous future and fulfillment of wishes and hopes. The lights are then floated in the river which signifies of drifting away the bad luck and misfortune.
Highlights Of Loy Krathong: The Thai Light Festival
- Thousands of baskets with candles floating on the river at night
- The night sky filled with brightly lit lanterns in Chiang Mai
- A Buddhist purification ceremony for cleansing the negative spirit
- All the streets glowing with flickering candles
- Traditional Thai dance shows in the evening
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What Is The Meaning Of Loy Krathong?
The literal meaning of ‘Loy’ in Thai language is ‘to float’ whereas ‘Krathong’ means ‘a small container’ which is authentically made of a piece of banana-tree trunk which contains a candle, incense and flowers. During this festival the the floating Krathong symbolises a person willingly letting go of hatred and anger.
Loy Krathong is an annual festival celebrated in Thailand with great vigour and zeal in November full moon to mark the end of rainy season. On the night of the festival, the river lits with the lighted Krathongs which are floated by the Thai people. This festival signifies the purification ceremony to enlighten the mind.
When Loy Krathong Is Celebrated?
In Thailand, Loy Krathong is celebrated on a full moon evening of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. According to the western calendar, the festival usually falls in November. However the exact date of the festival is declared one month before the Loy Krathong festival.
Loy Krathong Date: November 23rd, 2018
Note: Following date is a full moon day on which the festival is based, however this date is not confirmed.
Where And How To Celebrate Loy Krathong Festival In Thailand?
The Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated all over Thailand wherever there is water, but still there are some special places where this is celebrated on a large scale. Among all the places Sukhothai, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are the best places in Thailand to witness this Thai Light Festival.
Let Your Lanterns Soar Up High At Sukhothai
Sukhothai is a birthplace of Loy Krathong festival, thus the locals celebrate this festival with special passion. One of the best places in Thailand to witness the joyous festivities which includes offering food to monks, which is later followed by drama, dance, music and martial arts.
Loy Krathong is celebrated for five days and all the celebration takes place within the boundaries of Sukhothai Historical Park (old city).
Tip: If you want to witness the celebrations of Loy Krathong in Sukhothai, then it is advised to book your hotels months prior because this place is the most famous place in Thailand and has very less hotels.
Float Your Krathong At Bangkok
Bangkok is another place where Loy Krathong is celebrated on a grand scale in Thailand. The city is beautifully adorned with ponds and waterways in public parks where locals can float their lighted Krathongs. Many couples can be seen watching the route of their floating Krathong to predict the future of their relationship. Apart from this Wat Arun and Wat Yannawa are some of the other places where people can be seen floating Krathongs down the Chao Phraya River.
Celebrate Yi Peng And Loy Krathong At Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the only place where Loy Krathong is celebrated alongside with Yi Peng (Chiang Mai’s Light Festival) which is another light festival of Northern Thailand. The highlight of the festival are the brightly-lit sky lanterns (also called the Khom Loi in Thai language) which fills up night sky. Made of rice paper which is stretched over a bamboo frame and a candle attached to it.
Quick Tips To Attend Yi Peng Festival In Chiang Mai
- As people rush from far and wide to attend this annual event, it is advised to book the hotel beforehand as the prices soar high as the festival approaches.
- To witness the lantern lighting ceremony closely, arrive at Lanna Dhutanka Buddhist Center in Mae Jo University around 4PM to get a good spot. Though the complete celebration starts in the night, the place starts getting crowded from early evening.
- Carry some food, enough drinks and a sunscreen if you arrive early at the ceremonial place as there will be a lot of waiting time.
- If you’re planning to visit the Wan Phan Tao temple for the lantern lighting ceremony, then there is no need to bring a lantern as they are not allowed inside the temple premises.
- For the people willing to explore the temples during the Yi Peng festival, then it is advised to cover the shoulders, knees and chest and avoid wearing tank tops, shorts or anything which reveals the skin.
Tips To Enjoy The Best Of This Festival Of Lights
- The Loy Krathong festival is celebrated with much grandeur in Thailand, thus the lakes and ponds remain very crowded. Hence, follow these tips to enjoy the best of this Thai light festival.
- The best time to arrive at the venue is between 3-4PM to avoid the struggle of finding the place to sit and fight your way through the crowds.
- Arrive early at the venue to get your candle when it is distributed by the people there before the lighting ceremony starts in the night.
- Bring your lighter to light the candle and a marker to write your wishes on the sheet on the little boat.
- Don’t buy lanterns from outside vendors as it is often not allowed inside the premises. The official lanterns cost around 100 baht (INR 216).
Quick Facts About Loy Krathong Festival
- The four components found on a Krathong are a symbol of Buddhism. Candle signifies knowledge and wisdom, Joss stick is a symbol of purity and sympathy, the flower represents worship of monks and the worshiping item is used to make merit for deceased ancestors.
- People keep strands of hair, nail clippings and even bits of clothes in the Krathong to get rid of the bad past.
- People also add coins in the Krathong to bring prosperity and wealth and its a way of making merit.
- For the couples, Loy Krathong is a festival where they float the Krathong and wish for good luck and happiness in their married life.
And Lastly You Can’t Miss The Loy Krathong Song
Excited much to be part of this grand Thai light festival? Hurry up and book one of the best Thailand holiday package with TravelTriangle and let your Krathong float in the water and bring you prosperity and happiness for lifetime!
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