Loy Krathong, One of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand.
Loy Kratong, the lantern festival, is celebrated throughout Thailand and has its origins in the Hindu festival of Divali. In Thailand, the festival appeared in the Kingdom of Sukhothai. Different countries of Asia celebrated Loy Kratong (with some variations.) Loy Krathong date is on an evening during a full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. The exact date of the festival changes every year. In the Western calendar, this usually falls in November.
The Thai Festival of Light dates back, according to legend, to the time of King pra-Ruang. Naang Noppamart, the daughter of a Brahman priest, had just been admitted to the rank of royal concubine. Learning that the king wanted to create a Thai version of Divali, the young woman made a stunning floating lantern: the very first Kraton. Naang Noppamart then became the king’s favourite, while his creation was taken up by all, marking the beginning of the current tradition. In memory of the founding myth, Loi Kratong gives rise to a famous beauty contest allowing the winner to receive the title of “Queens Naang Noppamart”.
“Loy” means to float and “Krathong” means ritual lantern. First, they carved it in a section of a banana tree trunk. After that, they traditionally decorated them with banana leaves, flowers, candles and three incense sticks. Like the one made by Naang Noppamart, the Kratong is a small traditional raft of ‘about twenty centimetres in diameter. It usually represents a lotus flower, but can also sometimes have the appearance of a swan or a stupa. For the Thais, the realization of the Krathong is a very serious matter:
Every year, they are a competition to determine the most beautiful Krathong, and everyone dreams of carrying this prestigious title!
During the full moon night of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Thai people lit their Krathong and dispossessed them in a river, canal, lake or basin. At the same time, fireworks and Thai lantern releases illuminate the sky, creating a spectacle of great beauty …
A spiritual dimension.
This charming tradition is not, however, limited to the enchantment created by the countless lights which then illuminate all regions of Thailand.
Most customs of the country have a spiritual dimension, and this gesture allows us to rid ourselves of the misdeeds we have accumulated throughout the year – our lies, worries, and misfortunes – before beginning a new life. According to popular belief, a lit candle indicates that our sins have been absolved.
This festival is one of the most beautiful and colourful in Thailand. You will be able to witness Thai people fire up lanterns in the sky.
The sky will be illuminated with light throughout the country as people create and release lanterns. To make your own lantern, you can use paper, iron wire, and a small fire source (such as wax), if you choose not to purchase one.