What is Loy Krathong?

When we think of a Thai festival, the first thing that comes to mind is Songkran (เทศกาลสงกรานต์). However, there is another widely celebrated festival in Thailand known as the Loy Krathong festival (ลอยกระทง). The Loy Krathong, loosely translated as “floating container”, is a nationwide celebration in Thailand but despite this, it is not an official public holiday.

Loy Krathong falls on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar and differs every year. I would strongly recommend that you figure out the exact date of Loi Krathong before booking your flights to Thailand; if you plan to witness this spectacular festival during your trip. You might want to take note that the festival usually takes place during the November period. Another personal recommendation of mine is to tie down a Chiang Mai trip during this time frame. In November, temperatures in Chiang Mai dips to a cool 19-23 degrees Celsius. Also, the celebration of Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is among the biggest in Thailand. The celebration of Loy Krathong varies a great deal throughout different regions of Thailand so do your research.

Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai the festival is also known as Yee Peng which last for 3 days.

  • Day 1 - the lantern festival
  • Day 2 - the observation of the full moon
  • Day 3 - Loy Krathong parade

On the first day, celebrators release floating lanterns to the sky to symbolically let go of unhappiness and sickness; usually putting a coin, fingernail or a strand of hair in the lantern itself.

“The lanterns are lit with candles and that explains how this festival came to be known as the festival of the light.”

These so called "sky lanterns" are known as Khom Loi. Being able to witness the launch of thousands of Khom Loi in the night sky is a joy to behold so do not miss this festival when you are in the land of smiles.

Now that you already know what Loy Krathong actually is, see you in Chiang Mai!

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