Loy Krathong

A splendid glittering Suphannahong Royal Barge leads the giant Krathong, Chiang Mai

Beautifully adorned woman dressed in Thai costume grace releasing the krathong, Bang Sai, Ayutthaya.

"Loy Krathong" or floating of banana-leaf cup is probably the most widely-celebrated festival in Thailand, and Sukhothai province usually holds the grandest celebration. "Nang Nophamat" procession is also an integral part of the celebration because Thais believe that "Nang Nophamat," who was a favourite concubine of a Sukhothai king, originated the Loy Krathong festival. To highlight the event, Sukhothai province had the "Nang Nophamat" Procession" in the November 14th.
The Loy Krathong festival had its inception in the golden reign of King Ramkamheang, the third king of the Sukhothai period. From a stone inscription there is clear evidence that Loy Krathong was a delightful festival which attracted large numbers of people to gather to observe a lantern or candlelight procession around the royal temple.
The Loy Krathong Festival is another most popular festival in November. It takes place at a time when there is a high water level all over the country.

Two young ladys with Krathong

"Loy" means " to float" and a "Krathong" is a lotus-shaped vessel made of banana leaves. The Krathong usually contains a candle, three joss-sticks, some flowers and coins.
In fact, the festival is of Brahmin origin in which people offer thanks to the Goddess of water. Thus, by moonlight, people light the candles and joss-sticks, make a wish and launch their Krathongs on canals, rivers or even small ponds.
It is believed that the Krathongs carry away sins and bad luck, and the wishes that have been made for the new year due to start. Indeed, it is the time to be joyful and happy as the suffering are floated away.
The festival starts in the evening when there is full moon in the sky. People of all walks of life carry their Krathongs to the nearby rivers. After lighting candles and joss-sticks and making a wish, they gently place the Krathongs on the water and let them drift away till they go out of sight.
For visitors to Thailand, this festivals of the year are occasions not to be missed. The festivals are listed in the tourist calendar. Everyone is invited to take part and share the joy and happiness.

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Information : Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tel. (02) 694-1222, E-mail : tat@cs.ait.ac.th
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