Winter is coming, so as the festival of joy and fun. For those who's planning to travel to Thailand this November, this is a night event you can't miss! Loy Krathong is a very old tradition in Thailand to remember the importance of the river which is the source of all life stream by making a decorated basket (called "Krathong" in Thai) which is the symbol respect and the joy of life then float it along the river.
Loy Krathong is usually held in November of each year according to the lunar calendar on 15th lunar month 12 (i.e. 22nd November 2018 of this year). It is the period of time when the rainy season is ended in Thailand and the weather starts to get colder with high tide in the river. It is also the same day when full moon appears to shine and reflects the beauty of Krathong that has been floated along the rivers in Thailand.
This tradition was started 760 years ago since Sukhothai era called as "Loy Pratheep" which is the biggest celebration of the year in that era and the lantern was used as a symbol to float up in the sky instead of Krathong in present time. Some believe that it's created religiously to worship the gods of old times.
Until Nang Nopamas (i.e. first wife of king Sukhothai in that era) invented the first Krathong from the Lotus and floated it along the river, the king was very fond of this new invention and ordered to use Krathong instead of the lanterns as the symbol of this tradition since then.
The belief of floating Krathong along the river was varied by each region and here are the most common ones we've captured for you:
To show the gratitude and remember the benefits of the river which has given us life from the water we drink and use as well as showing a humble apology of disposing any waste back to the river during the past year
To remember the Buddha lord who once shown his followers the way of life along the river in India
To float all the sadness and misfortune along with Krathong away through the river
To worship Upagupta monk (widely believe in the northern region of Thailand) as legend said that he keep himself in the middle of the ocean practicing his ritual and able to defeat all kinds of evil
To preserve the long tradition of Siamese people and celebrate the coming year-end in Thailand
Loy Krathong celebration in each region may be unique based on each local belief and here're the main area we've captured for you:
Loy Krathong in Northern region is called "Yi Peng Festival" (i.e. a festival in the month of "Yi" which is the twelfth month in Lanna calendar). People will invent a lantern with a thin piece of cloth and light up with smoke from the bottom to make it float up in the air and worship Upagupta monk
Loy Krathong in Tak province will involve hundreds of small small Krathong that will all be floated at the same time which will appear in a sequence called "Krathong Sai"
Loy Krathong in Sukhothai province where this tradition was originated is called "Loy Krathong with Fire and Candles" which will take you back to the way of celebration in old time of Sukhothai era including parade of lanterns and fireworks
Loy Krathong in Northeast region is called "Float the Fire Boat" which will mainly occur in Nakorn Phanom province by using banana tree to carve as a boat and decorate with illuminated light before lighten up at night and float it along the river
Loy Krathong in Bangkok consists of many small events in every corner of the capital with the highlight at "The Golden Mountain" nearby Khao San road which will start around one week before Loy Krathong day
Loy Krathong in Southern region is organized in many tourist places such as Hat Yai and Phuket
Mae Napa - Peanut Chips
A traditional snack you can't miss
What to do in Loy Krathong day? Same for all the places for the main highlight which is to invent your own Krathong from banana tree and leaves as the main material and decorated with flowers of your choice along with joss stick and candle. Some people also made Krathong from baked bread which is also a good choice and environmental friendly. During the night, people will gather along the river with their Krathong and make a wish before floating it to the river. In most places, there will also be a contest for Nang Nopamas of the year, parades and fireworks for you to enjoy.
And here's the list of recommended place for you to go on the night of Loy Krathong festival 2018:
Loy Krathong in the Candle light, Sukhothai province - The event is scheduled during 16-25th November 2018 at Sukhothai Historical Park [show on map] including live shows, street foods on traditional thai market, floating krathong competition, fireworks, local parade and many more. The place will be decorated with over 3,000 lanterns under the concept of "Color of the River" and also available traditional Thai dress for rent and photoshoot. For more info, please visit Tourism Authority of Thailand - Sukhothai branch
Yi Peng Festival, Chiang Mai province - The event is scheduled on the night of 22nd November 2018 all over the city [show on map] under the full moon period following local tradition of the North with hundreds of hundreds of lanterns that will be floating up in the sky throughout the night
A Thousand Lights of River, Tak province - The event is organized on the night of 22nd November 2018 at the bridge crossing Ping river [show on map] by floating a thousand of local Krathong made from coconut to the river one by one like a stream of lights that you gotta see by yourself
Loy Krathong Festival, Bangkok province - The event is organized on the night of 22nd November 2018 at almost every temples and universities in Bangkok [show on map] including floating krathong competition, local parade, street food and fireworks (only available in some places). Recommended to check with your local guide or hotel for more info and exact location nearby.
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