Loy Krathong is arguably Thailand’s most visually stunning festival. Known also as the ‘Festival of Light’, Loy Krathong is celebrated every year all over Thailand, and this year the festivities take place between the 5th and 7th November.
The Loy Krathong festival is a symbolic gesture of ‘letting go’ of a person’s bad luck and starting afresh by seeking forgiveness for past discretions from Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water .
During the festival, Thais of all ages make a pilgrimage to a nearby lake or river and release floating ‘krathongs’ onto the water. The krathongs are delicately decorated, often woven with banana leaves and flowers and lit by a small candle. They carry food and coins as offerings, with some even including nail and hair trimmings to get rid of the ‘bad’ parts of the person! When released in a big group, the drifting krathongs create a beautiful scene on the water. The floating krathong are accompanied by firework displays and in some places even beauty pageants.
In Chiang Mai they jointly celebrate Loy Krathong with the festival of Yi Peng, where lanterns, known as Khom Loy, are released into the night sky. When released the scene resembles thousands of flying jellyfish heading up into the night sky.
In Bangkok huge crowds gather to enjoy festivities throughout the night, but we prefer the celebrations in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Ayutthaya, situated just north of Thailand’s capital. Here locals head to Beung Phra Ram to release their krathongs onto the historical park’s large lake, with the former capital’s pagodas, temples and ruins providing a stunning backdrop.
If want to experience the incredible site of floating krathongs lighting up the night sky, contact one of our Thailand-based Travel Specialists who’ll be delighted to put together an itinerary so that you can enjoy the festivities in November.