“Loy Krathong” is one of the most famous traditional festivals in Thailand. It’s held every year on the full moon of twelfth lunar month.
“Loy” means to float and “Krathong” is a raft made of section of banana tree trunk, well-decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candle, and three-incense sticks. Before making the wish, and letting them float down the river, the candles and joss-sticks are lit.
During the night of the full moon, many people will release a small raft like this on a river. Governmental offices, corporations and other organizations also build much bigger and more elaborate rafts, and these are often judged in contests. In addition, fireworks and beauty contests take place during the festival.
Loy Krathong is considered to be worship to a foot-print of Lord Buddha. Apart from venerating the Buddha with lit candle and joss-sticks, the act of floating away the candle raft is symbolic of letting go of all one’s grudges, sins, anger and defilements, then they can start life afresh on a better foot.
Some people also cut their fingernails or hair and add them to the raft as a symbol of letting go of the bad parts of themselves. Many Thais believe that floating a Krathong will create good luck, and they do it to honor and thank the Goddess of Water; Phra Mae Khongkha.
From the historical evidence, ‘Phra Ruang’ (King in the Sukhothai period) had mentioned that when the full moon of twelfth lunar month comes, the flying lantern will be made as the lotus shape. We will pay homage to the foot-print of the Lord Buddha for ever after.
A Beauty Queen Contest is an important part of the festival and for this occasion it is called “The Noppamas Queen Contest”. Noppamas is a legendary figure from the Sukhothai period. Old documents refer to her as the chief royal consort of a Sukhothai King named “Lithai”. Noppamas was said to have made the first decorated Krathong to float in the river on the occasion.
5 Best Locations to Loy Krathong in Phuket
1: Patong Beach – in the West coast of Phuket, many tourists mainly join the festival in Patong
2: Laguna – in Bangtao area, local people and resorts’ guests
3: Sapanhin – if you want to join the real Thai sense, I suggest you to go to Sapanhin
4: Ao Chalong – in the South West coast of Phuket
5: Nai Harn Lake – an inland lake close by fabulous beach Nai Harn