Answering the most frequent question what to see in Phuket – the bright and beautiful Loy Krathong. Loy Krathong is a very famous Thailand festival. Usually it is celebrated in the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in Thai lunar calendar. The event marks the end of the rainy season. This year, Loy Krathong festival falls on November 11.
Loy Krathong Festival
The name of the festival Loy Krathong can be translated from Thai language – “Loy” means to float and “Krathong” means a small boat made of banana tree leaves.
So maybe some of you already saw how Thai people prepare for the festival or even took part in the event yourself. Before the festival begins all Thais prepare hand-made boats, traditionally made of banana tree leaves, put a candle inside and decorate with flowers and fruits. It is possible to buy a ready made boat but much better to do it by yourself as Thai people believe.
The next step is to place the floating “krathong” to the water and let it go. When doing so, it is believed that you let go the sins of the past year. And at the same time Thai people hope that this ritual will bring them luck and happiness and make wishes for the future.
Loy Krathong is a family festival and normally Thais celebrate this event with their relatives and loved ones. Loving couples believe that if they put their “krathongs” on the water simultaneously, they will be together forever. Especially, if “krathongs” will float side by side.
Some people put hair and fingernails inside of “krathongs”. It is considered that it will help them to get rid of past mistakes.
How the Festival Originated
There exists a version how Loy Krathong tradition originated. More than 700 years ago the wife of Thailand king Lithai made a “krathong” of surpassing beauty and floated it on the water. The king was so amazed and ordered that everyone should make “krathongs” every year on this particular day. This way he set up a centuries-long tradition.
Tourists also like to take part in one of Thailand’s biggest events of the year. Local people sell “krathongs” for tourists. Most festival events are held in big cities like Bangkok and Pattaya – different shows, concerts, fairs, etc. But smaller provinces are also embraced by Loy Krathong spirit. So if you happen to stay in Phuket during the festival, this is your chance to watch and learn deeper the culture of Thai people. When the darkness comes, all waters of Thailand look like in a fairy-tale. Bright lights of “krathongs” illuminate everything around, people are filled with the magic atmosphere believing in a better future.