Loy Krathong or the Thailand floating festival is one of the most popular festivals in Thailand. In Thai, Loy means to float and Krathong means a basket or a small container made from banana leaves decorated with flowers. We believe that floating Krathong is to ask for forgiveness from the water spirits because we use plenty of water in our daily lives and we might unintentionally pollute the water. This festival presents the close relationship between Thai people and rivers and is held throughout Thailand on the full moon of the twelfth month in Thai lunar calendar every year (It usually falls into November).
To join the festival, you just go to the festivals (which are held over the country) and buy Krathong from markets and float it on a river. When I was young, in school we learnt how to make Krathong. Students would make Krathong themselves during the day and float it at night. It is often to see schools organize the Krathong competition and students will use their creativities to make their own Krathongs. Nowadays, it is much more creative than in the past; there are several ways and materials to make Krathong.
If you join the big festivals, you will have a chance to see ‘Noppamas Queen Contest’. Noppamas is the name of the woman and we believe that she was the first one who created Krathong and floated it on the river. When I was in Kindergarten, I took part in the competition once. 🙂
If you join the festivals in Chiang Mai, province in northern Thailand, you will have a chance to see Yee Peng or the festival of lights. You will see the lights from thousands of lanterns in the sky and also see the lights from candle in Krathong in the river.
There are also some websites creating ‘Loy Krathong online’, so Krathong is ready in front of your screen and you can float it at home. I have never done it before and I will not. I prefer either do other things at home or join the festival. If you are in Thailand during the festival, I do recommend you to join the festival. You can ask people around the popular places for Loy Krathong festival.
Have you ever experienced Loy Krathong in Thailand? Do you like it? Share your experience with me in the comments!