Loi Krathong, one of the most vibrant and stunning festivals in Thailand is just around the corner.
On the day, many Thais float their Krathong – the small floating vessels made from banana leaves – down a river or pond to pay respect to the Lord Buddha and seek forgiveness from the goddess of water for any misdeeds against her.
The full moon night of the 12th lunar month this year falls on 25 November and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is encouraging local and international tourists to experience Thainess culture presented through the legendary Loi Krathong Festival.
Mr. Visanu Jaroensilp, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business said, “The Loi Krathong Festival has been practiced in Thailand for centuries, so it is a precious cultural heritage of the kingdom.
“Loi Krathong takes place during one of the best times in Thailand when there is a full moon in the sky, water in the river, and the weather is nice and cool, which is the perfect time for a lovely celebration.
“We have listed Loi Krathong among Thailand’s most impressive cultural events under plans to raise their profile into world events.”
This year TAT has listed seven venues from different regions, each of which has its own distinctive style of Loi Krathong celebrations, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Tak, Ayutthaya, Samut Songkram and Ratchaburi.
In Bangkok, the Chao Phraya River is the centre of the Loi Krathong celebration. TAT in cooperation with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and several public and private agencies are preparing to stage the grand Loi Krathong event during 23-25 November, 2015, at several venues along the Chao Phraya River.
At Suan Nakarapirom in Phra Nakhon district, visitors will be brought back into the charming old Thai atmosphere when people clad in traditional Thai costumes taking part in cultural activities of the Rattanakosin period with the highlight – a Loi Krathong ceremony in the ancient Thai style – scheduled to take place on the nights of 23-25 November.
The River Festival 2015, hosted by Thai Beverage, will be held at seven unique spots along the Chao Phraya River including four temples – Wat Arun Ratchawararam, Wat Chetupon Wimonmangkhlaram, Wat Prayurawongsawas, and Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan – and three riverside attractions – Tha Maharat, Yodpiman Riverwalk, and Asiatique the Riverfront. Each venue will feature the Thai way of life and cultural performances.
Free charter boat services will be available on two routes: the Yodpiman Riverwalk – Asiatique route; and the Yodpiman-Tha Tien (Wat Pho)-Tha Maharat-Wat Arun-Wat Prayurawongsawas route. In addition, eight hotels on the riverside are joining hands to host an extravagant fireworks display over the Chao Phraya River between Sathon Bridge and Phra Pokklao Bridge on 25 November at 22:00 Hrs. to make it a memorable night.
In Northern Thailand, TAT recommends Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, and Tak. In Chiang Mai, local people celebrate Loi Krathong by releasing the ‘Khom Loi’ (lit lanterns) into the night sky, among other unique cultural activities.
In Sukhothai, which is the home of the Loi Krathong Festival in Thailand, the Sukhothai Historical Park will be the biggest venue for a spectacular light and sound show portraying the legend of this festival.
At Tak, the local people celebrate the Loi Krathong Festival by floating a thread of 1,000 glittering krathongs made from coconut shells into the river. The event makes a spectacular night-time atmosphere near the Rattanakosin 200-years Bridge over the Ping River.
In Central Thailand, the highlights are in Ayutthaya, Samut Songkram, and Ratchaburi. The Ayutthaya Bangsai Loi Krathong Tam Prathip Festival 2015 will feature five days of colourful cultural activities and many interesting contests.
Samut Songkram boasts its unique Kap Kluai Mueang Mae Klong celebration, setting afloat more than 200,000 krathongs made of banana trunks on the river along with contests of krathongs and illuminated boat processions.
In Ratchaburi, the ethnic Mon people celebrate the Loi Krathong Si and Loi Krathong Sai Mon by lighting candles around the temple’s bot and viharn buildings and floating krathongs made from colourful paper.
Loi Krathong is a nationwide celebration and visitors will be able to experience the festivals at any destinations across Thailand.