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Loy Krathong

The Festival of Light and Water (late-Oct/Nov)

Loy Krathong takes place at the full moon in November, or occasionally late October. Coming at the end of the rainy season, it’s a kind of Thanksgiving, and people float krathongs on the rivers to venerate the river goddess.

In the days before the festival, people decorate their gateways with banana stems and coconut fronds, and hang lanterns around the house. They also make their krathongs, using a slice of banana stem for the base, adding waxy leaves and flowers, then a candle and incense sticks in the middle.

After watching a dazzling parade (best in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai), they go to the riverside, light the candle and incense, hold the krathong to their forehead and let go of any harboured grudges. Then they release it into the river’s current, hoping to see it float out of sight—a sure sign of a long and happy life. These days many people release sky lanterns as well.

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Book your accommodation well in advance of this very popular event.

Seasons, Festivals & Events

Text © Ron Emmons

Image by Ron Emmons