Published on December 18th, 2012 | by Key Reads0
Loy Krathong: The Most Beautiful Holiday Pt 1
Loy Krathon is a holiday that is celebrated on the 12th full moon on the Thai lunar calendar (which usually occurs in mid to late November). In Thai, “loy” means floating, while krathong is the name of the decoration that you use to float down a body of water, usually a river. The krathong is usually made out of banana leaves and has incense sticks attached to it, and some contain a small coin or some food. The krathong is made and then released on the night of Loy Krathong to pay respect to the water spirits and ask for merit according to Thai tradition. The Thais may also make a wish as they set their krathong free. With the Thai appreciation for beauty, there are contests for the most beautifully decorated krathong, along with a beauty contest. However, it is the scene of brightly lit, floating krathongs on the river at night create a beautiful evening setting during a slightly chilly Thai night.
One of the most fun things about Loy Krathong, especially as an American is the fireworks. The fireworks are ridiculously cheap compared to the States, if even legal. I spent a total of 4000 baht ($120) on fireworks, which in the States may have cost me between $800-$1000. The amount of fireworks I bought gave me enough clout to create a Facebook event with my friends and other strangers in Chiang Mai for Loy Krathong.
When we arrived at our meetup spot, by the Iron Bridge in Chiang Mai, it seriously looked like a war zone. Smoke filled the air from the constant barrage of fireworks that were fired in the air by Thai and foreign revelers alike. Floating lanterns were set in the air as well (which I’ll go into with my second post). It was beautiful and chaotic at the same time; a perfect way to describe living in Thailand.
I was truly shocked at the quality of fireworks that I bought for Loy Krathong. The fireworks I bought were enough to showcase at a small town’s 4th of July extravaganza. But this being Thailand, they fired low enough to provide some fear in the crowd of people watching, along with a few misfires that actually did shock some people. But overall, Loy Krathong has provided some beautiful and exciting memories to last a life time. On the next installment, a continuation why celebrating Loy Krathong, especially in Northern Thailand is truly something to experience.
Check out this video of Loy Krathong made by my friend Chris Smith, along with more of his pics of Loy Krathong here.