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All You Need to Know about Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand

All You Need to Know about Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand

Loy Krathong festival is a mesmerising celebration that showcases the rich cultural heritage and spiritual beliefs of Thailand, offering an unforgettable experience for both locals and tourists alike.

In this post, we’ll talk about all you need to know about Loy Krathong festival. From when it is celebrated to where it’s best to be celebrated, we’ve got you covered! 

Read on to find out more about the mesmerising Loy Krathong Festival, a must-attend celebration that will leave you in awe! 

What is Loy Krathong Festival? 

What is Loy Krathong Festival
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Loy Krathong Festival is a vibrant Thai celebration where people float beautifully decorated krathongs (lotus-shaped boats) on waterways. 

It’s a time to pay respect to the water goddess, release negativity, and make wishes for the upcoming year. 

When is Loy Krathong festival celebrated?

When is Loy Krathong festival celebrated
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Loy Krathong festival is typically celebrated on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month in the traditional Thai calendar, which usually falls in November. However, the specific date may vary each year based on the lunar calendar. 

It’s a time when locals and tourists come together to immerse themselves in the enchanting atmosphere of the festival, creating a memorable experience under the luminous moonlight.

Why is Loy Krathong celebrated?

Why is Loy Krathong celebrated
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Loy Krathong is celebrated for various reasons. One of the main purposes is to pay respect and express gratitude to the water goddess, Phra Mae Khongkha. 

Water holds great importance in Thai culture as it is associated with fertility, prosperity, and purification. By floating the krathongs on water, people symbolically release their worries, negative emotions, and sins, allowing a fresh start.

It’s also a time for making wishes for the upcoming year, seeking good luck, and strengthening relationships.

How do people celebrate Loy Krathong festival today?

How do people celebrate Loy Krathong festival today
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In modern times, Loy Krathong festival has evolved into a grand celebration. People gather near rivers, canals, and lakes, creating a vibrant atmosphere with colourful decorations and music. 

They craft their krathongs with intricately folded banana leaves, adorning them with flowers, incense sticks, and candles. 

After a moment of personal reflection and making wishes, the krathongs are gently released onto the water, symbolising the act of letting go and starting anew.

Beyond the floating of krathongs, the festival also features cultural performances, beauty pageants, and spectacular firework displays. You can indulge in traditional Thai food and delicacies from the street stalls, adding to the festive ambiance. 

Many locals also celebrate by releasing lanterns into the night sky, creating a breathtaking spectacle of floating lights.

Where to Celebrate Loy Krathong Festival

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai is known for hosting one of the most elaborate Loy Krathong celebrations in Thailand. The city becomes a hub of activity as locals and visitors come together to release krathongs on the Mae Ping River. 

The best thing about celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is you also get to celebrate Yi Peng which is widely celebrated in Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand. 

Yi Peng is primarily associated with the release of sky lanterns into the night sky and begins a day or two prior to Loy Krathong Festival.

On the other hand, Loy Krathong is focused on floating krathongs, small lotus-shaped boats, on waterways throughout the country.

To experience a truly immersive Loy Krathong celebration in Chiang Mai, join the locals in launching your krathong onto the Mae Ping River.

The sight of countless lanterns floating in the night sky is a truly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Local tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot and witness the breathtaking Yee Peng Lantern Festival, where sky lanterns are released into the night sky. Don’t forget to try the local delicacies offered by street vendors to enhance your festive experience.


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Sukhothai, the ancient capital of Thailand, offers a unique and historical setting to celebrate Loy Krathong. 

The Sukhothai Historical Park becomes adorned with colourful lights, and visitors can witness the festival against the backdrop of the city’s ancient ruins. 

You can enjoy a peaceful walk around the lotus ponds to observe the floating krathongs and immerse yourself in the historical significance of the festival. 

The park’s lotus ponds are transformed into a shimmering sea of floating krathongs that creates a serene ambiance.

Local tip: Visit the park in the evening when the ancient temples are beautifully lit up, creating a captivating atmosphere.  Be sure to bring insect repellent and comfortable footwear for a pleasant exploration.


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Bangkok, the bustling capital city of Thailand, hosts vibrant Loy Krathong festivities along the Chao Phraya River. Locals and tourists flock to the riverbanks to release their beautifully decorated krathongs into the water. 

Bangkok’s iconic landmarks, such as the Grand Palace and Wat Arun, serve as stunning backdrops for the celebrations. 

In addition to floating krathongs, visitors can also experience dazzling firework displays, cultural performances, and traditional beauty pageants that showcase the city’s dynamic spirit.

Local tip: For an unforgettable Loy Krathong celebration in Bangkok, head to Asiatique The Riverfront. This popular riverside entertainment complex offers a unique experience with its own Loy Krathong festivities. 

Enjoy the scenic views of the Chao Phraya River as you float your krathong and witness the grand fireworks display. Arrive early to secure a riverside table at one of the many restaurants for a delicious meal with a view.


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Phuket provides a unique coastal experience during Loy Krathong. The island’s stunning beaches, most especially Patong Beach and Kata Beach, come alive with celebrations. 

Visitors can release their krathongs into the sea, creating a picturesque scene of illuminated offerings gently drifting away. Phuket also offers cultural performances, live music, and a wide array of street food, adding to the festive atmosphere. 

The combination of the beach setting and the beauty of Loy Krathong makes Phuket a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Local tip: To make the most of Loy Krathong in Phuket, head to Patong Beach or Rawai Beach for a picturesque celebration. Join the locals and fellow visitors in releasing your krathong into the sea as the sun sets. 

Remember to arrive early to secure a prime spot on the beach.

Lamphun Province

Lamphun Province
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The province of Lamphun celebrates Loy Krathong festival with great enthusiasm and unique traditions. During this enchanting festival, Lamphun becomes illuminated with multi-colored shades of lights, creating a captivating atmosphere.

Lamphun’s Loy Krathong celebration also pays homage to Phra Nang Cham Devi, the founding monarch of Hariphunchai and the ancient city of Lamphun. 

Locals pay respect to her by devoting lanterns to Phra That Hariphunchai, an ancient and revered temple, symbolising the historical and cultural significance of the region.

Throughout the festival, you can immerse yourself in the festive ambiance, enjoying traditional music, dance performances, and cultural displays that showcase the rich heritage of Lamphun. 

Local tip: Join the locals in the evening when the temple grounds come alive with lights and vibrant energy. Take a moment to explore the surrounding area and witness the beautiful krathongs floating along the waterways. 

What is the difference between Loy Krathong festival and Yi Peng festival?

What is the difference between Loy Krathong festival and Yi Peng festival
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Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are two distinct but related festivals celebrated in Thailand. While they share similarities, there are notable differences between the two.

Loy Krathong is a festival primarily focused on floating krathongs, small lotus-shaped boats, on waterways. It’s celebrated nationwide, with each region adding its own unique touches to the festivities.

What is the difference between Loy Krathong festival and Yi Peng festival
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On the other hand, Yi Peng is closely associated with Loy Krathong. It’s celebrated in northern Thailand, particularly in the city of Chiang Mai. 

Yi Peng focuses on the release of sky lanterns, known as khom loi, into the night sky. These lanterns are made of thin fabric with a candle at the centre, which creates hot air, causing the lantern to float upwards. 

The act of releasing sky lanterns is seen as a symbol of letting go of misfortunes and bringing good luck. The sight of thousands of lanterns illuminating the night sky is breathtaking and draws tourists from around the world.

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