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Loy Krathong - Thailand

Loy Krathong

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Information about Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most iconic festivals and probably the most beayutiful. It is one of the four major Buddhist festivals of the Buddhist calendar with Makha Bucha, Visakha Bucha and Asahna Bucha. Combining tradition, spirituality and visual beauty, Loy Krathong, also called the Festival of Lights, takes place each year on a different date, the day of the full moon of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar. It generally corresponds to the month of November.

The main tradition of Loi Krathong is to place krathongs decorated with a lit candle on water streams. Krathongs are small artisanal rafts made from banana tree trunks and leaves (there are some made with more industrial or plastic material but don't buy them, they pollute the rivers much more). Most people buy them but there are still families who make their krathongs themselves. On Loy Krathong's evening, the Thai people go to the water's edge, whether rivers, lakes or ponds, even the sea and launch their small raft with a candle and 3 incense sticks on the water (sometimes they also place coins) while making a wish. It is a symbolic act of liberation from past worries and sins, while invoking prosperity for the future.

Loy Krathong is often associated with the release of sky lanterns called khom loi but it is in fact the tradition of Yee Peng Festival which is held at the same time in Chiang Mai and not a Loy Krathong tradition. The practice is now almost banned everywhere else in Thailand and very regulated in Chiang Mai where there are still large simultaneous sky lanterns releases organized by private organizations with very expensive entry prices.

Where is the best place to celebrate Loy Krathong in Thailand?

Thailand's largest festival for Loy Krathong takes place in Sukhothai. For more than a week until the D-day, the historical park whose UNESCO-listed monuments are beautifully lit is open to the public for a big event. The program includes dance , ancient martial arts and masked theater demonstrations, a large local food market, concerts and two major sound and light shows, one is free. Obviously, you will also find krathong sellers and see them making them. You can buy krathongs and place them on the park’s ponds. Entrance to the festival is free.

The other destination with a big Loy Krathong festival in Thailand is Chiang Mai. The city organizes major festivities, I communicate the detailled schedule as soon as it is officially released every year. For me, the ideal plan to celebrate Loi Krathong in Thailand is to go to Sukhothai a few days before the D-Day, when the festival has already started, and to be in Chiang Mai the evening before for the opening ceremony and the D-day for the celebrations.

There are other famous Loy Krathong festivals in Thailand, the one in Tak in the North of the country and the one in Samut Songkhram opposite Amphawa floating market, for example. The festivities in Lampang or Lamphun near Chiang Mai with Wat Haripunchaï as the epicenter are also very beautiful and with almost no foreign tourists. In Bangkok, it's especially in the parks and along the Chao Phraya river that it happens. Here too, I publish a program as soon as the festivities are announced in detail.

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  • 15/11/2024


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The best festivals in Thailand

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With a lot of traditions, festivals in Thailand are numerous and some are worldwide famous. Loy Krathong sometimes also called the Festival of Lights is held in November and was elected second best festival in the world. It must be said that this is the most photogenic festival in Thailand.

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Public holidays in Thailand

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The main events of the Buddhist calendar but also the anniversaries of the King and Queen of Thailand and other days related to the History of the country are holidays in Thailand. If banks and administrations are generally closed those days, transport, shops and restaurants operate normally.

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