Loy Krathong is a highly celebrated festival held in Thailand and even in certain regions of Burma and Laos. This celebration is held on the full moon day which falls on the 12th month according to the customary lunar calendar. However, this falls in November in the western Calendar. Loi or Loy gives the meaning of ‘to float’ where as krathong gives the meaning of the vessel that floats in water, which takes the shape of a lotus. Formerly, the krathong was made using banana leaves, the spider lily plant or even the stalk of the banana tree. In a krathong you will find betel nuts, joss sticks, candles, coins, flowers and food.
The origin of this festival in ancient times was to pay reverence to the spirit of the waters. However, it is now held as a festival to have fun. The krathongs used at present are made of either bread or Styrofoam. While the banana leaves, stalks and bread are biodegradable, the use of Styrofoam is frowned upon since it causes environmental pollution. Along with the krathong and offerings, a low value coin too is offered to the spirits of the river.
On the day of the full moon, the Thai communities get together at night and float away their krathongs along a river, lake or canal. During the day of the festival apart from floating away the krathong there are other events as well. There are competitions held to choose the biggest and most decorated raft and also beauty contests and firework shows. It is said that this tradition has descended from the Sukhothai. But according to research by scholars, it is proved it is an innovation from the Bangkok period.
This festival is practiced by the Buddhists in Thailand too to respect Gautama Buddha. If travellers are visiting Thailand for the Loy Krathong celebration you can reserve yourself a Bangkok luxury hotel and experience some personal pampering. The Peninsula Bangkok is a splendid 5 star hotel Bangkok that would surely entertain you and provide you with the best comforts while on your stay. You would certainly have a wonderful holiday if you visit Thailand during the times of this amazing festival.