Loy Krathong FestivalMedia Team
Dates of the Loy Krathong Festival
Loi Krathong festival (ลอยกระทง) is celebrated throughout Thailand. It takes place on the evening of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. The dates of Loy Krathong change every year. Loy Krathong usually falls in November.
In Chiang Mai the festival is also known as Yi Peng or Yee Peng Festival. It lasts for three days. The first day is the lantern festival, the second day is the full moon day and the third day is now the day of the Loy Krathong parade. Loy Krathong is not an official public holiday in Thailand. Most activities take place after dark.
What is Krathong?
“ลอย Loy” means “float”, and a “กระทง krathong” is a special Thai floating decorative boat. You will find hundreds of krathongs available for sell around Loy Krathong festivity areas.
How to Loy Krathong
After lighting candles and joss-sticks and making a wish, the Krathong is gently put on the water and let them drift away till they go out of sight. It is believed that the Krathongs carry away sins and bad luck.
These days you will find Krathong กระทง /grà-tong/ in various shapes, sizes and it could be made from any materials such as Banana Leaf Krathong, Bread Krathong, Ice Cream Cone Krathong, Dried Corn Husks Krathong, Styrofoam Krathongs, etc. These days many Thai people have been making colourful Krathongs in a very creative ways.
Purpose of Loy Krathong
There are several reasons to float lanterns during the Loy Kratong festival, but the most common ones are:
- To thank the Goddess of water Phra Mae Khongkha for letting us use water in our daily lives and to apologize to her for polluting it when showering and washing, etc.
- To symbolically let go of unhappiness and sickness we put a coin, fingernail or a strand of hair in the lantern with the candle, incense sticks and the decorated flowers. Then, we let the lantern float away
Noppamas Beauty Contest
This is the main attraction for visitors. Noppamas represents Princess Srijuralak who was the first person to ever create Kratong. The contestants dress in traditional Thai costumes from different eras.
Watching this beauty contest is like going to a grand traditional Thai costume-fashion show. Each contestant will be asked a question about the Loy Kratong tradition. The judge will give points based on the costume and the wit and manner of the contestants.