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Monday, January 31, 2011

Loi Krathong Festival 2011 In Phuket

Loi Krathong - 10th November 2011

Loi Krathong (or Loy Krathong) is the most beautiful event in Thailand - taking place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar.

Loi means “to float” and “krathong” refers to the lotus shaped raft which is traditionally made from a section of a banana tree trunk.

Loi Krathong, is also known as the “Festival of Light” due to the candles placed in each krathong. When the huge numbers of krathongs are floating away - they light up the night sky.

The History of Loi Krathong

The Loi Krathong festival is believed to have originated from the Sukhothai Period. Although recent scholars have suggested that it actually takes it origins from the Bangkok Period.

According to the writings of H.M King Rama IV (1863), the original festival was adapted by Buddhists in Thailand as a ceremony to honour the original Buddha – Siddhartha Gutama.

The Tradition of Loi Krathong

The local people each make a “krathong” to float on a river, sea,  canal  or lake. The krathong will be decorated with folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. Also included on the krathong will be coins, food, a cutting of the person’s hair and nail cuttings.

Traditionally, the krathong was floated on the water, to pay respects to the spirits of the water. Today, the act of the krathong floating away is a symbol of letting go of the bad things which may have happened that year; so the person can start their life afresh.

Items are included on the krathong as a way of honouring the Goddess of The Water, “Phra Mae Khongkha” and to bring good luck into their lives.

Romantic Festival For Couples

The Loi Krathong Festival is a very special event for couples. Together they make a krathong to float away. The couple do so to wish for happiness in their life together and for success in love.

The beauty of the many krathongs with their candles flickering in the night, makes for a very romantic scene.

Hire A Local Tour Guide

If you will be in Phuket on 10th November 2011, you may like to enjoy this beautiful festival. Hire a local Phuket tour guide who will help you to find a krathong. They will advise you on what to put inside your krathong.

You will then  join the local community to take part in the festival and to float your krathong away into the night. This is also an excellent chance to take some stunning photographs.

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