Loy Krathong Festival is an auspicious occasions celebrated by locals and visitors during the full moon night in November – this year on the night of the 11th November 2019.
Loy Kratong means floating the (flowery) basket. The ritual relates to hindu belief dating back thousands of years. It involves making the basket out of cut banana tree and leaf, decorate it with flowers, and finally adding a candle and one or more incense sticks.
When sunset approaches, family, friends and lovers then bring their own Kratong to nearby river, kneel down and pray to water goddess for forgiveness and make a wish before sending their colourful basket out floating away, joining other well wishers’ baskets afloat at distance.
Many Thai festivals are alight with magic — it’s just easiest to see it in flow during Loy Krathong. The streets around popular floating locations buzz with life through the evening, filled with celebratory activities, including beauty contests, dance performances and krathong-making workshops, giving travellers an open window to truly connect with locals on a deeper level.
Tourism organisations encourage all visitors to participate in these festivals. Where else could you experience magic like this?
This festival is family friendly, vibrant and colourful.
Nowadays, there’s no need to spend hours making the basket since there are local pop up shops that sell theses Krathong once you are close to the waterside.
This is the list of 2019 venues to celebrate, retreat and enjoy Thai cultural activities:
The Delightful Colours of the River, Loi Krathong Festival, Bangkok
9-11 November, 2019, at the Santi Chai Prakan Public Park from 4pm-12am.
Featuring Thai cultural activities that reflect the unique Thai traditions and ways of life while promoting distinctive Loi Krathong practices of different destinations around the country.
Activities and workshops include Krathong making using natural materials, Thai cooking, floral garland making, fruit carving, banana stalk carving, Khon mask making, and much more. There are also cultural performances to enhance the evenings.
Here are list of authentic and modern accommodations with convenient location for this festival in Bangkok:
- Riva Arun Link
- Chann Link
- Amdang Link
- Sala Rattanakosin Link
- Avani riverside Link
- Millenium Hilton Link
- Anantara riverside Link
- Mandarin Oriental Link
In the North of Thailand, Loy Krathong is also associated with the picturesque sight of thousands of lanterns lifting into the sky at some point. The Yi Peng festival is an ancient northern tradition to celebrate Loy Krathong.
The celebrations involve the lighting and releasing of large floating lanterns (called khom loy), into the sky. These lanterns are often made with rice paper and decorated with prayers and wishes before being released. The act of releasing the lantern symbolizes the important Buddhist practice of merit-making; pursuing good deeds to reap good rewards. Homes and gardens around northern Thailand are often decorated with smaller lanterns made from paper (called khom fai).
There are places you can join the Northern (Lanna) ancient culture and lantern floating celebration in Chiangmai.
- “Tam Phang Patit Song Fa Haksa Mueang” (Light the Lanterns to Guard the City), 9-12 November, 2019, at the Three Kings Monument Link from 6-11pm.
- Yi Peng Colourful Lanterns Show, 9-12 November, 2019, around the city moat and gates Link from 7-10pm.
- Opening Ceremony of the Yi Peng Festival 2019, 10 November, 2019, at the area in front of the Tha Phae Gate Link from 6pm.
- Yi Peng Little Boys and Girls Contest, 10 November, 2019, at Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 7pm onward.
- Mister and Miss (Thephi-Thepphabut) Yi Peng Contest, 10-11 November, 2019, at the area in front of the Tha Phae Gate Link from 7-11pm.
- Spirit House and Chedi Khao Worship Ceremony, as well as asking the Goddess of the Ping River for forgiveness, 11 November, 2019, at the Chiang Mai Municipality Office, Wat Si Khong Pier Link from 8-11pm.
- Handmade Krathong Made of Banana Leaves and Fresh Flowers Contest, 11 November, 2019, at the Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 9am-3pm.
- Cultural Performances, 11-12 November, 2019, at the Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 7-10pm.
- Releasing Lanna-style Krathong Sai, 11 November, 2019, at the Ping Riverside, in front of the Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 7-10pm.
- Giant Krathong Parade Contest, 12 November, 2019, from the area in front of the Tha Phae Gate Link to the Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 7-11pm.
- Fireworks Display, 12 November, 2019, at the Ping Riverside, in front of the Chiang Mai Municipality Office Link from 7.30-10.30pm.
- Suep Hit San Hoi Hom Poi and Revering Phra Siri Mangkhalachan, 10-12 November, 2019,, at the Chiang Mai Religion Practice Centre Link from 10am-11pm.
- Listening to Sermons and Lighting Lanterns to Revere Phra Chedi, 10-12 November, 2019, at Wat Lok Moli Link from 9am-10pm.
- Music for Creativity, Culture for Happiness, 10-12 November, 2019, in front of the First Church of Chiang Mai Link from 6pm-12am.
For anyone prefers privacy and relaxing evening but still get to celebrate the festivity, these hotels are offering special deals and performances on the 11th November
Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival 2019
Daily activities from 2-11 November, at the Sukhothai Historical Park:
- Ceremony to Welcome the Dawn of Happiness – offering dried food to Buddhist monks, at Saphan Bun, Wat Traphang Thong Link at 5.55am.
- Exhibition at Lan Pho, at the back of Wat Chana Songkhram Link.
- Lan Thet Lan Tham (Sermon of the Great Birth) Link at Dong Tan from 1pm.
- Talat Laek Bia (the ancient market of the Sukhothai Era), Folk Sports Show, Sword and Staff Fighting Show, Thread-wound Fist Thai Boxing Show, at Sala Si Lang (The Four Pavilions) from 4pm.
- Traditional Thai Music Performance, at Wat Chana Songkhram Link (on the Khon performance stage) from 5pm onward.
- Khao Khwan Wan Len Fai (Sukhothai Gala Dinner), at the area in front of Wat Maha That Link, Sukhothai Historical Park from 5.30pm.
- Light and Sound Performance, at Wat Maha That Link, 7.30pm.
- Khon Performance, Joe Louis Traditional Thai Puppet Show, Lakhon Nok (play performed by males), and Lakhon Nai (play performed by females), at Wat Chana Songkhram Link , 8.30pm.
- Fireworks Display, at the pond of Wat Sa Si (Traphang Trakuan) Link, 8.30pm
- The Legend of Thao Si Chulalak Performance, at the pond of Wat Sa Si (Traphang Trakuan) Link ,at 10.30pm
- Fireworks Display, at the pond of Wat Sa Si (Traphang Trakuan) Link, at 11pm.
On 11 November, 2019 (Loi Krathong Day), more activities are available:
- Procession around Sukhothai City to invite the Royal Inauguration Flame and Lanterns, from 8pm (procession assembles at 2pm)
- Royal Procession, Tradition and Culture Processions of 9 districts, and a Procession of Nang Nopphamat.
- Floating the Royal Krathong and Lantern by the Chairman of the Ceremony to mark the auspicious occasion, 11pm , at the pond of Wat Sa Si (Traphang Trakuan) Link.
Recomended accommodation in Sukhothai:
Loi Krathong Sai Festival and a Thousand Floating Lanterns 2019, Tak
Tak province has a unique and eco-friendly way to float their Krathong made out of coconut shells, filled with lit candle call Krathong Sai. The festival starts from 9-13 November, at Lan Krathong Sai, at the foot of the Somphot Krung Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi Bridge Link, Tak
- Preparation to invite the Royal Inauguration Krathong, Krathong Sai Procession, and seven threads of the Krathong Sai Processions, at the area in front of the Shrine of King Taksin the Great Link from 5pm. Releasing of the nine Royal Inauguration Krathongs and Lanterns, each from His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn and the other eight members of the Royal Family, Krathong Sai Boat Procession, and 7 threads of the Krathong Sai Processions, from 6.30pm, at the area in front of the Shrine of King Taksin the Great Link Ceremony to Invite the Royal Inauguration Krathongs and Lanterns to be housed at the stage in the middle of the Ping River, on 9 November, 9pm.The Opening Ceremony & the Floating of the Loi Krathong Sai Festival and a Thousand Floating Lanterns 2019, on 9 November, at Lan Krathong Sai by the Ping Riverside, at the foot of the Somphot Krung Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi Bridge Link.
Experience traditional food for dinner, on 10 – 13 November, 18.30 Hrs. onwards, at Lan Krathong Sai by the Ping Riverside, at the foot of the Somphot Krung Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi Bridge Link.
Here are recommend accommodation near the festival area.
- Vieng tak riverside hotel Link
- Soho boutique hotel Link
Ayutthaya Loi Krathong 2019
- This city takes about 1 hour drive towards the north of Bangkok. Ayutthaya also known as the previous capital city of ancient Siam during 14th century and filled with historical sites to be discover during your stay.
- Loi Krathong Tam Prathip 2019, on 11 November, 2019, at Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, Ayutthaya Link.
Activities: Krathongs floating at the Chao Phraya River, for all participants.
- Loi Krathong Krung Kao Festival, on 11 November, at four corners of the Ayutthaya City Island – under the Pridi-Thamrong Bridge Link, Chedi Si Suriyothai Link in front of Chankrasem Palace Link, Pomphet Link, and the Monument of King Naresuan the Great at theThung Phu Khao Thong area Link.
Activities: Krathong contest, Nopphamat beauty contest and performances on stage.
- Loi Krathong Talapat Festival throwing back to the past to join the full moon bathing ceremony, on 11 November, 2019, at Sam Ruean Sub-district Administrative Organisation Office, Bang Pa-in District.
Activities: krathong making workshop, handing out Krathong Talapat, and full moon bathing ceremony.
Recommend accommodation with convenient location
- Phuttal Residence Link
- Iudia hotel Link
Loi Krathong Kap Kluai Mae Klong Festival 2019, Samut Songkhram
Activities: Floating of 200,000 Krathongs Kap Kluai (banana leaf-sheath krathongs), Krathongs and Illuminated Boats Contest for the King’s Royal Trophy, Mother-Daughter Noppamat Beauty Contest, cultural performances, and workshop on Krathong Kap Kluai making, banana stalk carving, pandan leaves folding, coconut leaves weaving, and more.
Recommend accommodation for authentic experience while in city of seafood heaven and infamous floating market.
- Maeklong long stay Link
- Ampawa nanon hotel and spa Link
Somma Nam Khuen Pheng Seng Prathip 2019 (Roi Et Loi Krathong Festival 2019)
Activities: Ceremony to Pay Homage to the City’s Sacred Spirits, Krathong and Giant Lantern Contest, Environmentally-Friendly Krathong Contest, Thida Saket Nakhon Beauty Contest, Somma Nam Khuen Pheng Seng Prathip Thai Folk Dance Contest, and the replica of Saket Nakhon City’s Krathong Procession.
Recommend accommodation at convenient distance to the festival
The atmosphere during these celebrations is extraordinarily peaceful, friendly and inclusive for all. Thai people are particularly welcoming to all newcomers to both festivals, making it a truly memorable time of year to visit Thailand.