What is Loi Krathong?
Known as Thai Festival of Lights, Loi Krathong is one of Thailand’s most enchanting festivals. Every year, Loi Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (on November 4, 2017 this year), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky.
Locals and tourists alike send off thousands of glittering candle-lit Krathong cups along waterways all across Thailand and partake in cultural activities and celebrations.
Krathongs are small, decorated floats made from dried bread or banana leaves that are placed in the river with a candle, joss sticks, and small coins as offerings to let your troubles float away, leaving you with only the good things life. You can also add nail clipping or a strand of hair to ridden old bad luck.
Ideally, Loi Krathong is a romantic festival, the concept is for lovers to wish for a long, happy beautiful life together by launching a krathong on the riverside under a full moon as myriad lights blink on the water.
What to Expect
Loi Krathong is not only one of the most picturesque times to be in Thailand, but also a time to celebrate Thai culture and partake in personal reflection and self-renewal.
Tips for Loi Krathong
- Use a krathong made of natural materials in order to preserve the environment
- Since Loi Krathong has much to do with candles, fireworks, rivers and crowded areas, please be cautious
- Book your accommodations as early as possible as prices soar nearing the holiday
Where to Celebrate Loi Krathong
Loi Krathong is celebrated all over Thailand! Check out the top destinations below for information on festivals happening in each region:
November 1-3, 2017: Loi Krathong Festival “Faith in the Way of Water”
Experience the Loi Krathong Festival at Suan Santi Chai Prakan in Bangkok for a demonstration on Thai ways, a Retro Market with delicious foods and sweets, an exquisite and rarely seen “Ramakian” Khon mask performance, live music and more.
Along both banks of the Chao Phraya River, which runs through Bangkok, people of all ages come to launch their own krathongs amidst firecrackers and processions of boats decorated with colored lights.
November 1-5, 2017: Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival
The Chiang Yi Peng Festival at Tha Phae Gate in Chiang Ma will highlight the uniqueness of the region and culture with local art and performances. Lanna-styled Krathong cups and Yi Peng lanterns will be released over the course of the festival and fireworks will light up the sky on November 4th in honor of H.M. the King.
(Northerners believe that releasing paper lanterns is a way of dedicating merit to the departed and worshipping the holy pagoda in heaven.)
November 1-5, 2017: Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival 2017
Sukhothai will be alive with festivity for Loi Krathong 2017, including ceremonies to welcome the Dawn of Happiness, worship all the late kings, and float the royal lanterns. A Thai-styled village and Pasan (bazaar) market will be displayed throughout, with sales of local food and products. Students will perform traditional Thai music. Contests for singing, dancing, and Krathong cup making will be held, and more.
This 700-year-old city is where the Loi Krathong tradition is thought to have originated. The Sukhothai Historical Park hosts one of the biggest festivals in the country with performances retracing the glorious past of the former capital.
November 3-7, 2017: Loi Krathong Sai Festival 2017
Witness the procession of the trophy of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), royal lanterns and eight royal Krathong cups to celebrate Loi Krathong. Activities, performances, food, contests and other festival activities will fill the streets of Tak for this special celebration.
This tranquil town by the Ping River celebrates the wonderful moment in their own unique and elegant way: unlike the traditional banana leaf, local people create krathongs made from coconut shell, filled with wax and wick, and floated in a line that is Loi Krathong Sai. The atmosphere not only represents the celebration, but also the unity of the community.
November 3, 2017: Loi Krathong Kap Kluai Mae Klong Festival 2017
More than 200,000 banana leaf-sheath Krathong cups will be floated on the Mae Klong River in Samut Songkhram for this year’s festival. Beauty contests and Krathong cup contests will be held, as well as a demonstration on making and carving banana leaf-sheath cups, folding pandan leaves, and weaving coconut leaves.