Loy Krathong festival takes place annually and is traditionally preformed on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month, which usually falls on some day in November.
Famous for its colorful and spectacular display, the Loy Krathong festival is a popular event for both locals and foreign visitors to float away sins and bad luck as well as to express apologies to Khongkha or Ganga, the River Goddess, for polluting its waterways.
It also marks the end of the raining season, and beginning of the cold season.
Loy means to float, and Krathong is a sort of banana–leaf cup traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk, decorated with a lotus-shaped vessel made of banana leaves, flowers, candles, incense sticks and coins.
Some locals will make their own Krathong, but you can buy one in any shape and size which are mostly made of styrofoam.
Locals may add a snip of their hair or fingernail to their vessel so that a part of their body goes out to the Goddess.
These Krathongs are then floated over local ponds or rivers, producing a marvelous and unforgettable image.
Although it is not a national holiday, various activities are conducted in this festival such as fireworks, beauty contests, Krathong-making, and launching into the sky thousands of Lanna-style hot-air lanterns.
Yi Peng festival
Loy Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as Yi Peng. Yi means two and peng means a full moon day.
Yi Peng refers to the full moon day in the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar (the twelfth month according to the Thai lunar calendar).
Swarms of Lanna-style sky lanterns are launched into the air where they resemble large shoals of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating through the sky.
The festival is meant as a time for tham bun, to make merit.
Khom loy are made from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, stretched over a bamboo or wire frame, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached.
When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air is trapped inside the lantern and creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up into the sky which will create an unforgettable and spectacular sight in the night sky.
When is Loy Krathong being celebrated?
Loy Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the Western calendar this usually falls in November.
Where to find the most spectacular views
Most popular venues for celebrating Loy Krathong in Bangkok include Chao Phraya River, Rama IIX Bridge, Santichaiprakan Park on Phra Artit Road, Benjasiri Park, Queen’s Park on Sukhumvit Road, and other waterways and universities.