Loy Krathong – The Festival of Light
Loy Krathong is usually hosted in the month of November; on the night the moon is at its fullest, making it one of the most picturesque celebrations Thailand has to offer. High tides, the biggest and brightest moon and the beautiful scenery make this Festival of Light a stunning, romantic occasion.
The name ‘Loy Krathong’ comes from the literal meanings ‘Loy’ – to float, and ‘Krathong’ – a lotus shaped receptacle. Tradionally, these are made from banana leaves or a spider lily and are usually then filled with various food offerings, flowers and coins. People arrive at the Festival of Light in their thousands to take part in the elegant ritual, lighting candles and incense sticks and gently releasing their krathongs onto the rivers and canals, making wishes as they do so.
Loy Kratong is a very symbolic Thai tradition. The people of Thailand believe that by releasing their krathong down the currents of the rivers their sins are released and forgotten and the flames of the burning candles symbolise wish fulfillment and longevity. Couples, for example, may make a wish together that they have a long future with one another.
Alongside these traditions the Festival of Light now hosts Krathong-making competitions and beauty contests as well as firework displays and performances.
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Many beleive that the Origin of Loy Krathong stems from their ancestors paying tribute to the Goddess of water, for allowing them to use the water that they needed.
Loi Krathong in Thailand originated in the period of Sukhothai, by the name of Loy Phra Pra Teip or Loy Khom (the floating lantern). It is a festival of Thai people. It was centuries later that, Noppamas, the most well-known of the concubine Sukhothai kings, created the krathong, a lotus-shaped basket, for floating in the river. It used for worshipping the foot-print of Buddha at Nammathanati River beach in the Thakkhinabodh district, India. Since then, the tradition has bloomed into Kingdom wide festival celebrated each year and has gained popularity the world-over.