Loi Krathong is a Siamese festival celebrated annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand. In Chiang Mai, the festival lasts three days, and in 2018, the dates were 21–23 November. Loi Krathongs takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.
About Loi Krathong in brief
Loi Krathong is a Siamese festival celebrated annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand and in nearby countries with significant southwestern Tai cultures. The name could be translated as \”to float ritual vessel or lamp,\” and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. In Chiang Mai, the festival lasts three days, and in 2018, the dates were 21–23 November. Many Thais use the kraths to thank the Goddess of Water, the Hindu Goddess Ganga, Phra Mae Khongkha. This festival can see the traces of its origin back to India. Loi Krathongs takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, thus the exact date of the festival changes every year. In the Western calendar this usually falls in the month of November. A krathi is traditionally a small floating container fashioned of leaves which is made to hold a small portion of goods like a traditional Thai dish or dessert.
The traditional kratha is made from a slice of a banana tree trunk or a spider lily plant. Modern krathy’s are more often made of bread or Styrofoam. Beauty contests often accompany the festivities and fireworks also have become common. The beauty contests that accompany the festival are known as Contests to the Queen to the King or Queen of the 13th century Sukhothai. According to the Royal Institute Dictionary 1999, loi means ‘to float’, while karathong has various meanings, one of which is ‘a small vessel made of Leaves which can be floated on water during the Loi Kruthong festival’ The float is decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, three incense sticks, and a candle. A small coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. People sometimes cut their fingernails or hair and place the clippings on the rathong as a symbol of letting go of past transgressions and negative thoughts.