Bangkok, 14 November, 2016 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently hosted tourists and locals at a Loi Krathong Festival in the historic environs of Bangkok’s riverside Santi Chaiprakan Park. People from all over the world came to celebrate the event and to learn about the traditions of this charming Thai festival.
Loi Krathong is celebrated annually in Thailand on the full moon of the 12th lunar month (November) when the waters are at their highest. Thai people visit local rivers and lakes to float krathong, which are banana leaf rafts, decorated with flowers, incense and candles.
This is a way of paying respect to the river goddess Mae Khongkha since Thai people use water from the river for bathing, transportation, as well as celebrating in festivals for their whole life. The ceremony is also a way of requesting forgiveness for the misuse of polluting the water over the past year.
This year Loi Krathong was especially atmospheric as an astrological event known as a super moon took place. The moon was the closest to the Earth it has been since 1948 and appeared to be 14 percent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.
H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand said, “Loi Krathong is a nationally-loved festival yet observed differently all over the kingdom. This celebration in the grounds of majestic Phra Sumen gave visitors a taste of the importance of Loi Krathong to the Thai people and showcased different aspects of the Festival.
“People enjoyed building and floating their own krathongs and watched them float into the night under a once-in-a-lifetime super moon.”
Santi Chaiprakan Park was busy until midnight with people, Thais and international visitors coming to make and float krathongs and to try different tasty Thai snacks and drinks. There was also a formal Loi Krathong procession and many people dressed in traditional Thai clothing, adding a touch of yesteryear to the event.
Visitors also celebrated the Buddhist elements of Loi Krathong by paying respect to the image of Phra Upagupta, a monk who is linked with water and the sea. Sacred water from nine Rattanakosin temples was also available for people to anoint themselves as is traditional. This, combined with the super moon, made Loi Krathong 2016 especially auspicious: the light of the moon and the sacred water are believed to impart power, blessings and happiness.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “Over many centuries, the Loi Krathong Festival has taken on a very Thai flavour and it is now one of the most anticipated events in the calendar. We hope everyone who celebrated by visiting Santi Chaiprakan Park or launching their own krathong anywhere in the country, enjoyed the event and took home happy memories of their time in Thailand.”