Loy Krathong - Green Door Enterprises

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[Published on 2011-10-20 in Holidays and Eventsby Jesse Schule]

Loy Krathong

Thailand's Festival Of Lights 

Thai Festival Loy Krathong The festival of Loy Krathong takes place on the night of the full moon in the 12th lunar month, usually in November. When the sun goes down on the night of Loy Krathong, the people of Thailand move to the nearest lake, river or canal to release the Krathong, allowing it to sail off into the darkness until the light of the candle is no longer visible. The Krathong is a decorative float, normally made of the stalk of a banana tree, with an arrangement of flowers and banana leaves designed to replicate a lotus blossom. According to the local legend, when you light the candle and place the float in the water, you make a wish, and the longer the candle stays lit, the more likely it is that your wish will come true. 

There could not be a better time for tourists to travel to Thailand

Similar to the ritual of releasing floats into the waterways, Thai people also send hot air lanterns sailing off into the sky, with the same principle of making a wish and then watching the lantern drift off into the night. The lanterns are made of thin rice paper, with a fuel source of wax, as the fire heats the air inside the lantern, it is forced up into the sky. It is an ingenious design that allows for easy and affordable production, with lanterns selling for less than a dollar a piece. In some areas of Thailand, the night skies on Loy Krathong are brightly lit with lanterns as far as the eye can see. 

The festival of Loy Krathong is particularly significant to young couples, as it is considered to be the Thai equivalent of Valentine's Day. Thai women will often dress in traditional costumes on the night of Loy Krathong, wearing colorful robes and garments in the ancient Thai style. When a young couple set a Krathong afloat, or send a lantern into the sky, they hope and pray that the candle stays lit until it falls out of sight, signifying a long and healthy relationship for the future. 

Tourists are encouraged to participate in the festivities, and there are often concerts and other entertainment venues set up to cater to visitors. The festival is aggressively advertised by the Thai government in order to draw in visitors from around the world and promote tourism. Along with the festival of Songkran (Thai New Year), this is one of the most important events of the year in Thailand. While it is a fantastic experience for foreigners, it is a very important religious and spiritual ritual for Thai people. 

This year the holiday falls on the night of November 10th, and the entire country will be united in celebration on this night. There could not be a better time for tourists to travel to Thailand, taking part in this Thai festival is a truly memorable experience. The festival is celebrated in every city, town and province across the country, however the most elaborate festivities take place in Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand, or in the ancient capital of Sukhothai. 

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