Loy Krathong Festival – Traditional Thai Lantern Celebration

Loy Krathong festival

Images of the Thai lantern festivals that take place every autumn are well-known for their beauty: trails of hundreds of blazing lanterns against a black sky. It is a great time to visit Thailand because of all the festivities, including parades, contests, speeches, and traditional music.

People worldwide may be familiar with photographs depicting these colorful Thailand festivals, but only a fraction of the population truly appreciates their meaning. Two significant festivals in Thailand use lanterns, but they often coincide because they are both held in Northern Thailand. The sky lanterns of Yi Peng are distinguished from the water lanterns of the Loy Krathong festival, which are presented to the river gods as the primary distinguishing aspect of these two celebrations.

During Loy Krathong, the best place to be is in Chiang Mai (loy kra-tong)

Loy Krathong Festival

The Lantern Festival is indeed celebrated all around Thailand, but the most acceptable place to see thousands of lanterns being flung into the sky at once is in Chiang Mai. Here is an important tip: if you want to join the festivities on November 28th in the most fantastic city for a view like this, start your Teach English in Thailand program in Chiang Mai. Don’t forget to spend time in Thailand in December as it’s full of joy and exuberance.

Loy Krathong translates to “floating basket.”

Loy Krathong

This water lantern festival, known as Loy Krathong festival characteristics, takes place in Thailand on the onset of the full moon and is observed on the 12th month according to the lunar calendar. Though relatively unknown beyond Thailand, this holiday is a national holiday there. An indigenous Thai woman said, “It is a way to apologize to the river for all the harm you cause the rest of the year.”

Krathongs, or water lanterns, begin life as a banana tree trunk or a piece of bread (locals say it is better as it provides food for the fish). Leaves and flowers are used to design the bases. Before releasing the lantern into the water, a candle and incense stick is placed inside and lighted.

Travelers can find many friendly locals who will gladly assist them in creating their krathongs, or they can purchase already-made, complex versions. These can be bought at numerous street vendors across Chiang Mai.

People line the riverbanks, crouching to release lanterns into the water while praying and making wishes. Many Thais believe that doing so will wash away their troubles. This is one of the fascinating Thailand festivals.

It is a sign of good fortune and a fresh start

How is Loy Krathong celebrated:

Loy Krathong

It is traditional to release a lighted lantern, called a Krathong, into a body of water or the air while wishing for a fresh start. Additionally, the celebration has gained popularity among couples who release krathongs simultaneously as they make marriage or long-lasting love vows to one another. Typical Krathong donations include flowers, money, and fruit.

For the sake of the water spirits and Buddha, many Thai people also incorporate coins in their krathongs. But after the festivities, some people are expected to swim over the river and take the cash. When the moon is full, celebrations begin. You can also enjoy same level of thrill during the New Year festivities in Thailand.

Yi Peng

Loy Krathong Festival

The home Loy, or floating skylights, are a hallmark of the Yi Peng festival. Contrary to popular belief, Yi Peng is not a nationally recognized holiday despite its significance as a public celebration. In the Lanna (the ancient northern Thai monarchy) lunar calendar, it is observed on the full moon of the second month (Yi means “two” and peng means “full moon day”).

Tourists travel far and wide to participate in the ritual of choosing a khom Loy lantern and setting it free into the night sky. A khom Loy is a tissue paper heater with a crossing base that holds a candle or other wax flame. The wax must be shattered before lighting so that the flame can remain stable. It is good luck to observe your lantern until it vanishes from sight, and many people make a wish on the outside of the lantern before doing so.

These lanterns are released into the sky for multiple nights during the Yi Peng festival. Just before the celebration begins, a group of monks in Chiang Mai organize a mass lantern launch that is open to the public at no cost. After the festival, a separate lantern event catering to visitors can be arranged for a fee (often around $100). For three days during the festival, however, individuals drop lanterns from all sorts of sites in a mass release that is not part of the official ceremonies.

One of the other exciting Thailand festivals is the Songkran Festival that you can indulge in during your holiday. So, the next time you visit the country, make sure that the dates coincide with any major festival.

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