living in the ‘Land of Smiles’

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai – Loy Krathong or Yee Peng Festival draws both Thai and foreign tourists

Via: Chiangmai Mail

The Yee Peng Festival, or Loy Krathong as it is called in other parts of Thailand, was not, as reported in the international media, cancelled, instead, Chiang Mai has seen a huge influx of tourists to the town to float their krathongs on the river and moat and to loft their Khom Fai high in the sky, sending this year’s bad luck and problems soaring away.

Chiang Mai has remained a destination of choice for Thai people fleeing the floods further South and foreign tourists who wish to enjoy all the culture and beauty that Chiang Mai has to offer. The Yee Peng festival that culminated on Friday the 11th with the Grand Parade and the awarding the King’s Cup for best float is just the start of an action filled calendar for Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai is considered a top destination for tourists visiting Thailand and those who plan to visit should not cancel their plans as Chiang Mai remains dry and has many festivities scheduled. Later this month the International Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place at the Prince Royal’s College; the Royal Flora Ratchaphruek starts December 14 and runs through to March 14. Chiang Mai will have a fireworks display for the New Year, and next year will see the Flower Festival and many more events.


Loi Krathong (or Loy Krathong, Thai: ลอยกระทง) is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand and certain parts of Laos and Burma (in Shan state).

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.

Loi literally means ‘to float,’ while krathong refers to the lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water. Originally, the krathong was made of banana leaves or the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A krathong contains food, betel nuts, flowers, joss sticks, candle and coins.

Modern krathongs are more often made of bread or styrofoam. A bread krathong will disintegrate in a few a days and be eaten by fish and other animals. The traditional banana stalk krathongs are also biodegradable, but styrofoam krathongs are frowned on, since they are polluting and may take years to disappear.

Regardless of the composition, a krathong will be decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks. A low value coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. During the night of the full moon, Thais will float their krathong on a river, canal or a pond lake. The festival is believed to originate in an ancient practice of paying respect to the spirit of the waters.

Today it is simply a time to have fun.



November 16, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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