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The Floating Lanterns of Loy Krathong: Celebrating Thai Culture and Light

The Floating Lanterns of Loy Krathong illuminate the Thai skies, embodying a celebration of culture and light. This enchanting tradition involves releasing intricately crafted lanterns onto rivers, symbolizing the letting go of negativity and embracing new beginnings. Loy Krathong captures the essence of Thai heritage, inspiring awe and fostering a sense of unity.

In this blog, we invite you to embark on a journey to explore the mesmerizing world of Loy Krathong, a festival that beautifully intertwines Thai culture and the enchanting power of light. So, are you ready to embark on this luminous journey? Stay tuned as we explore more about the fascinating customs, the vibrant atmosphere, and the heartwarming traditions of Loy Krathong – a celebration that truly embodies the spirit of Thai culture.



What is the Loy Krathong festival?

Thais celebrate Loy Krathong in November. It honors the Goddess of Water and ends the monsoon season. People deploy beautiful banana-leaf floats with candles and flowers into rivers and ponds during this magical celebration. It symbolizes thankfulness and good fortune. The night sky comes alive with thousands of flying lanterns. Lighting the darkness and captivating onlookers. Loy Krathong celebrates nature and encourages cleanliness, riverbank preservation, and rubbish reduction.

Loy Krathong unites culture and people. On riverbanks, families sing and dance. Candles on floating krathongs are lit and released while paddling decorated boats. Thousands of lanterns lighting up the night sky are magnificent. Thai culture’s deep connection to nature and the environment is shown in this unique event. Loy Krathong festivals in Thailand are amazing, especially the light show.


When is Loy Krathong Festival celebrated?

The Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month in the traditional Thai calendar. While the exact dates may vary each year based on the lunar calendar. The festival usually takes place in November. This magical occasion brings people together near rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water. This is to partake in the festivities and immerse themselves in the rich cultural traditions surrounding Loy Krathong.

The symbolic release of krathongs, exquisitely constructed floating lanterns, into the sea is the centerpiece of Loy Krathong. Krathongs are lotus-shaped banana leaf containers containing flowers, incense, and candles. The krathong slowly floats away on the currents when the candle is lit. This symbolizes letting rid of negativity, grudges, and previous errors and starting again with optimism and hope.


Why is Loy Krathong celebrated?

Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated by Thai people on the full moon night of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar. The festival is meant to give thanks to the Water Goddess and to apologize for polluting the waterways. It is also a time to mark the end of the rainy season and for farmers to thank the river goddess for a successful harvest.

During the festival, people release krathongs (decorative floats made of banana leaves, flowers, and candles) onto rivers, canals, and other bodies of water to symbolize letting go of grudges and negativity. The festival is a significant event in Thai culture and is celebrated with feasting, music, and fireworks.


What Are the Origins of Loy Krathong?

Loy Krathong’s history varies. According to legend, Nang Nopphamat, a beautiful Sukhothai courtesan, created it. She created the Krathong by building a lotus leaf boat, placing a candle inside, and sailing it down the river to attract King Ram Khamhaeng. The Nopphamat narrative is based on a poem by King Rama IV from the 1800s, yet the idea is still great.

Today, beauty pageants are organized in Nopphamat’s honor during the festival. Some believers see the festival as an opportunity to honor the Hindu Goddess of Water following a particularly fruitful harvest season, while others admit that the celebration is adapted from Diwali (the Hindu festival of lights), in which participants light small clay pots called diyas to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness. In certain regions, diyas will also be lit during Loi Krathong.


What Takes Place During the Festival?

Everyone in Thailand celebrates the event, but the highlight is the floating of the krathong, which may take place on any body of water and features hundreds of tiny floating lights. There will be fireworks and, in honor of Nopphamat communities, beauty pageants named “Nopphamat Queen Contests.” In Chiang Mai, a procession will march from the Old City plaza to the river for launching, while the monks of Wat Phan Tao will adorn their grounds in the city center with oil lights and lanterns. Contrary to the monks, the festival’s circumstances—romantic illumination and the ability to go out without parents—have led to Loy Krathong being a night to mingle for singles and is even connected with the loss of virginity.


Where to celebrate Loy Krathong Festival?

If you’re seeking the best places to celebrate the enchanting Loy Krathong Festival, look no further than Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Bangkok, and Phuket in Thailand. These cities are renowned for their vibrant and larger-scale festivities, offering an unforgettable experience surrounded by illuminated rivers, mesmerizing lantern displays, and cultural celebrations.

Where to celebrate Loy Krathong Festival?


1. Chiang Mai: Two Celebrations in One

Chiang Mai is the second-largest city in northern Thailand and is also the best place to go for a Loy Krathong Festival experience. Besides having Loy Krathong celebrations, the city also holds another magnificent festival called Yi Peng Festival (Thailand Sky Lantern Festival) on the same day.

In 2023, Loy Krathong and Yee Peng will take place over the dates of 27th – 28th November. Chiang Mai looks like a fairy tale with Loy Krathong lighting on the river and Yi Peng lanterns in the sky. These festivals are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. The famed Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lanterns Festival 2023 is selling tickets now. Chiang Mai CAD’s partner is Asia Highlights.


2. Sukhothai: the Birthplace of Loy Krathong

Sukhothai is one of the finest locations to experience the Loy Krathong Festival because it is the origin of this joyful celebration. The festival is celebrated for five days in Sukhothai. The majority of festival events take place in Sukhothai Historical Park.

In addition to the floating lanterns, Sukhothai also hosts a beauty pageant, parades, folk music performances, and a stunning light and sound display. Find out more about Loy Krathong in Sukhothai. 


3. Bangkok: Riverside events

If you can only visit Bangkok during the festival, you shouldn’t feel too terrible about missing out on Chiang Mai and Sukhothai. Bangkok celebrates Loy Krathong in its own unique way and with its own activities.

2023 Loy Krathong Festival Bangkok’s “Festival of Colors Loy Krathong Festival” may be conducted in Santichaiprakarn Park from November 26-28, 2023, with numerous engaging activities.


4. Phuket: Beach Relaxation and Loy Krathong

Phuket is an excellent destination for tourists who wish to experience the splendor of Loy Krathong. In Phuket, Loy Krathong is a much more relaxed celebration. Most hotels and resorts offer classes on how to make your own Krathong and assist you in releasing it into the ocean.

On all waterways and beaches, including Patong Beach and Nai Harn Beach, the festival is celebrated. In Phuket Town, you can visit Kata Beach, Karon Beach, and Saphan Hin Park. Also, Suan Luang Park for a more authentic experience. Here is where the majority of Thai locals congregate to discharge krathongs and celebrate.



Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong with pleasure. Release krathongs to worship the Water Goddess and ask for good prosperity. Loy Krathong celebrations include beauty pageants, parades, music, and fireworks. Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Bangkok, and Phuket host the biggest Loy Krathong events. These sites will provide you with a great experience that embraces tradition and light. Whether you want a large fireworks show or a small family gathering. Come celebrate Loy Krathong 2023 with us!

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