Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festival 2013

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Image of Loy Krathong festivities

Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are fast approaching, so we thought we’d go over the two festivals, what’s similar and different between them, and then let you know where the festivities will take place so you can join in!

Some reports initially suggested that the celebrations would be cancelled due to the death of the late Supreme Patriarch Nyanasamvara Suvaddhana, and although some aspects will be slightly scaled, the celebrations will go on!

What is Loy Krathong?

“Loy Krathong” is a traditional festival that takes place annually on the eve of the first full moon according to the 12th month of the Thai Lunar calendar (usually November). The main staple of this festival are the intricate little floating vessels (usually made from banana leaves), which typically have candles or incense sticks attached to them.

Locals and Thais gather in the evening to lay these floating decorations at nearby ponds, khlongs (canals), rivers, and even swimming pools. This is to pay respect and give thanks to the Goddess of Water – Phra Mae Khongkha. It’s said that these Krathongs carry away their bad luck and bring forth good fortune. Under the full moon it makes for a fantastic spectacle, definitely one of Thailand’s most beautiful festivals.

Image showing Loy Krathong floating decorations

What is Yi Peng?

“Yi Peng” is essentially the Northern equivalent of Loy Krathong, and refers to the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar. And whilst it’s also common to float krathongs, the Northern parts of Thailand, such as Chiang Mai, are renowned for their sky lantern or “khom loi” celebrations, where locals launch handmade floating lanterns, commonly made with rice paper and attached with a fuel cell or candle, into the air.

Although the this ceremony is broadly similar to Loy Krathong in that part of the ritual releases people of their sins and bad luck. The khom loi ritual is different in that they are honouring the Indic God who resides in the sky – Pra Ged Kaew Ju La Manee.

Image showing the Yi Peng festivities and floating of sky lanterns

Where can I celebrate?

The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) are organising official Loy Krathong and Yi Peng celebrations in the following areas of Thailand:

  • Chiang Mai – 10 – 18 November at the local Municipality, Thapae Gate and the Lanna Historical Museum in Mueang District
  • Sukhothai – 13 – 17 November at Sukhothai Historical Park in Mueang District
  • Bangkok – 15 – 17 November at Asiatique: The Riverfront on Charoen Krung Road
  • Tak – 15 – 20 November at the Rattanakosin 200 Years Bridge in Mueang District
  • Ayutthaya – 17 November at Wat Tha Ka Rong in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District
  • Samut Songkram – 17 November at the King Rama II Memorial Park and Wat Phumrinkudeethong in Amphawa District
  • Suphanburi – 17 November at the Tha Chin River in Mueang District

If you plan on making the trip over, but don’t like the idea of venturing out among the crowds of people, some of our hotels and resorts have special Loy Krathong packages. They include a special dinner and a ceremony where you’ll get your very own krathong so you can experience the celebrations! Here’s a list of participating properties along with a link to the package:

Happy travelling!

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