LOI KRATHONG represents a time for the Thais to give thanks to the goddess of water and to seek forgiveness for past misdeeds. It occurs at night during the full moon of the 12th Thai lunar month, which in 2012 takes place on Nov. 28.
Loi literally means “to float,” while Krathong refers to the lotus-shaped vessels containing candles, incense and flowers which participants float down rivers, lakes and ponds across the country. The festival also includes beauty pageants, fireworks and contests in which individuals construct the Krathong from unique materials such as banana leaves, banana tree trunks, coconut barks or even paper.
Each province has its own special features in celebrating this annual Festival of Lights. Some of the most colorful include:
The Delightful Color of Stream, Loi Krathong Festival, Nov. 24 – 28 at Asiatique The Riverfront, Chao Phraya River (Krung Thep Bridge-Krung Thon Bridge), Bangkok. Highlights include opening ceremonies on Nov. 24, plus cultural performances, light decorations and the float procession all along the banks of the Chao Phraya River.
Phra Nakhorn Si Ayutthaya, Loi Krathong Festival, Nov. 28 at the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre, Ayutthaya. Highlights include: Beauty pageants, Krathong contests and cultural performances, with individuals competing to win the King’s Trophy.
Yee Peng Festival, Nov.28 – 29 at the Tha Phae Gate (Nov. 28 – 29), Amphur Mae Jo (Nov. 24 – 30), Chiangmai. Highlights include: cultural performances and crafts, the Lanna style walking street and the opening ceremony of “Yi Peng Festival 2012,” plus an amazing procession of hanging lanterns at Chiangmai Night Bazaar, beauty contests and a light and sound presentation on the Ping River.There will also be a Krathong procession competition for the King’s Trophy.
In addition, several Thai resorts and hotels also feature their own Loi Kathrong celebrations, including:
137 Pillars House, which has created a package to celebrate this very special occasion. Valid from Nov. 27 –30, it includes two nights’ accommodation in its Rajah Brooke Suite, private limousine airport transfers, complimentary fruit basket on arrival and a sumptuous daily breakfast. Guests will also receive a traditional local style Kad Mua buffet dinner (food only) and entertainment on No. 28, as well as a Kom Loy (rice paper lantern) and Krathong (flower arrangement with candles).
This package is priced at USD $760 (THB 22,700). Additional nights are available at best available rate for applicable dates, and are inclusive of accommodation and breakfast. For more information and reservations, visit www.137pillarshouse.com or call +66 53 247 788.
Experience Yi Peng, the Northern Thai Festival of Lights, at Four Seasons Resort Chiangmai. This year, Four Seasons Resort Chiangmai has created a special package to let guests celebrate the Lanna Yi Peng Festival – famous for its floating lanterns, in conjunction with Loi Krathong.
Its two-night Festival of Lights package is available between Nov. 29 and Dec.1, 2012, and includes accommodation, daily breakfast for two, a special Loi Krathong dinner at Terraces, transfers to Chiangmai to see the floating krathongs, and the chance to take part in and witness the spectacle of thousands of floating lanterns being launched simultaneously at Tudongkhasathan Lanna.
For more information and to make reservations, visit www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai.
- Loi Krathong draws a crowd (ttrweekly.com)
- Light & shadow in Chiang Mai [PICs] (matadornetwork.com)
- Event: Loy Krathong Thai Festival 2012 – Parramatta, Sydney (theawesomesisters.com)