Join in on Loy Krathong 2016 Fun
Loy Krathong (or Loi Krathong) is a holiday honoring the goddess of water. It’s one of two huge celebrations held in Thailand each year, the other celebration being Songkran (Thai New Year). The meaning of “Loy Krathong” is a rough translation, but it more or less means “to float a basket.” The holiday is celebrated on the night of the full moon during the 12th lunar month in the Thai calendar each year.
If you’re going to celebrate a holiday in Thailand, this is one of the most spectacular. To pay tribute to the goddess of water, Thai’s build lotus shaped rafts, decorated with flowers, incense, and candles. The rafts are often built with meticulous precision. Some believe launching Krathong’s into the water will release their hatred, anger, and resentment, while other Thai’s use it to pay homage to the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha. As candles on the Krathong’s are lit, watching as they’re set afloat on rivers and lakes across the Kingdom, under the full moon, is an experience of a lifetime.
With Loy Krathong quickly approaching, now is the time to make travel plans to witness or even participate in this colorful celebration. Take a peek at last year’s Loy Krathong festivities in Bangkok – you’re in for a special treat!
Loy Krathong 2016 Plans – After King’s Death
The Loy Krathong festival has been thrown somewhat of a curve ball this year. Thailand is in an official mourning period with the loss of their beloved King. Past days have been somber, but the people of Thailand are strongly united.
“Life will go on,” said Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports for Thailand, in an exclusive interview with The iTravel Channel. During our interview, Mrs. Kobkarn passionately said, “Loy Krathong is not cancelled.”
“Therefore Loy Krathong will not be stopped. We will adapt the mood and tone to be with the feeling of the people,” commented Mrs. Kobkarn as she spoke of religious ceremonies, cultural festivals, and sports.
Loy Krathong 2016 Changes
Loy Krathong, also spelled Loi Krathong by some, is also known as “The Festival of Lights.” With an official announcement, concerns and anxieties of travelers looking to partake or witness the ceremonies are relieved. It’s important to note, there will be changes to the mood and tone to show respect to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
While Krathong contests will continue, there will be no beauty contests at any of the events. Additionally, there will be no fireworks.
Loy Krathong 2016 Official Plans
Official plans now available as The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) releases their schedule for Loy Krathong 2016 festivities in several cities. Most events will take place on November 14, 2016, but some cities will celebrate over several days.
BANGKOK: November 14, 2016, from 5:00pm to 10:00pm, an event will be held at Santi Chaiprakarn Park in the heart of the old city. The TAT has informed us, “visitors will learn about the history of Loi Krathong and see performers and characters in traditional Thai costumes taking part in traditional activities against the glorious backdrop of the Rattanakosin temples. There is the chance to make krathongs, try traditional food and enjoy the atmosphere of the charming riverside park.”
Aside from the big TAT event in Bangkok, The Ministry of Culture, the BMA, and Asiatique at the 7 palaces will likewise be holding events.
SUKHOTHAI: November 10-14, 2016, from 9:30am to midnight at the Sukhothai Historical Park. It’s been said by many Sukhothai is the spiritual home of Loy Krathong. Here the ruins of “old Sukhothai” will be illuminated, but to further brighten the Festival of Lights, 9,999 candles will be lit at 6:00pm each night. Everyone is welcome to participate, including the building and floating their own Krathongs.
TAK: November 14, 2016, only. According to the TAT, they will oversee, “‘Loi Krathong Sai Floating 9,999 Lanterns in Remembrance of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’ by floating a thread of glittering krathongs made from coconut shells on the river from the banks of the Ping River.”
CHIANG MAI: November 12-15, 2016, the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival, which celebrates Loy Krathong, will be held over several days. Chiang Mai always puts on an impressive Festival of Lights and activities will be based around the old Tha Phae Gate. Despite being toned down, event-goers are invited to witness a spectacular Krathong parade and other events. Contests are alive and well in Chiang Mai with both Krathong floating and Krathong making contests. According to the TAT there will be, “religious rituals, and several other traditional Lanna-style ceremonies as you would expect to see in Chiang Mai.”
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