Living in Chiang Mai, I am so lucky to be able to enjoy all the festivals it has!
I have finally found the time to write about the biggest festival held in Thailand! I have heard so many good things to say about Loy Krathong festival and I was waiting eagerly for it to come.
The lunar Thai calendar determines the specific yet varying date of this festival every year. Although the holiday is usually in November, the parade and festival dates vary from one city in the country to another. It is held right after another amazing festival (even better!) called Yi Peng!
Whereas the word ‘loi’ means ‘float’, ‘krathong’ is a special floating sculpture in Thailand that is specific to the holiday. Traditionally, the krathong is made using a banana tree trunk’s cross-section. Flowers and banana leaves are then used to decorate it in towering yet intricate designs.
Me and my friends, we have created our own krathongs! It is very easy, even if you are not very creative (like me), you can make your masterpiece out of flowers! The workshops are held everywhere in the city! You need to pay 1-2$ and they provide you with materials and teach you how to do it. Here is the link to the workshop of this year (there are many everywhere in the city, you can just ask in your hotel). It is fun, believe me!
The waters were lit by the hundreds of twinkling candle lights. Every single candle floating down the streams and rivers carried with it a prayer and wish of the person that sent it off. Wonderful memories were created with my friends as we celebrated the Loi Krathong festival. I simply loved to be a part of it!
Before sending off our krathongs afloat, we had to light our candles and incense sticks that came with the floats we bought. With the glowing candles and burning incense, not just our prayers and wishes were offered up, but our troubles were carried away. We watched the flickering light diminishing down the stream, as long as we could. It was such a colorful and beautiful sight.
We had so much fun setting turtles and eels free in the river waters. If you didn’t make one, these are usually sold near the ponds or waters where the festival is taking place.
In addition, the Loy Krathong festival is not complete without the beauty pageants. We celebrated the festival in Chiang Mai, the grandest destination for the festival. Every model participating in the parades had a unique theme and dressed up as a giant krathong float. Other people who came for the festival were dressed in regal Thai costumes that showcased them as mythical Thai beings. We saw the beauty queens waving to the crowds from time to time.
Sky lanterns, which are made of large pieces of paper, are also an important part of the Loi Krathong water festivities in Chiang Mai. They are released to float freely up in the clear skies just like the hot air balloons. It was so magical and breathtaking a sight to see thousands of the lanterns launched into the air all at ago. We bought them upon arriving in Chiang Mai as they were being sold everywhere on the streets.
You can also visit Thailand and forge beautiful unforgettable memories with your friends, family or even the locals, as you celebrate the Loi Krathong festival. You will live to remember your holiday in Thai with great memories of this eclectic yet beautiful traditions. You can also buy some memorabilia to bring home with you when your holiday comes to an end.
The great weather during this time of the year is also a plus, making it an excellent time to visit Thailand and explore its great wonders. The next Loi Krathong festival will take place on the 25th of November in 2015. You can also attend any of the workshops held annually to learn more about the beautiful country of Thai.
Come one, come all, and have a lifetime experience!
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