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12th November 2008
Loy Krathong (the word “Loy” means to float and a “Krathong” is a banana leaf cup) is as old as Thai heritage and represents a close bond between Thai culture and water. The festival takes place at night on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month when the water level is high and the climate is cooler. Participants ask water spirits to sail away their troubles in their Krathongs, which are containers traditionally made from banana leaves and carrying offerings of incense, lotus flowers and a small amount of money.
Loy Krathong is one of the most picturesque and recognized festivals in Thailand. The illuminated floats drifting with the current make a very interesting spectacle. One of the best places to celebrate and observe this festival is in the province of Sukhothai, at its historical park – Thailand’s first capital which is now a World Heritage site – regarded by academics at large as the birthplace of the Loy Krathong tradition.
The floating of a ‘Krathong' is also intended to express apologies to Khongkha or Ganga, the River Goddess and to ask for amnesty in polluting the waterways. Some believe that the ritual is meant to worship the Buddha's footprint on the bank of the Narmada River, while others say that it is to pay respect to Phra Uppakhut, one of the Lord Buddha's great disciples.
The Loi Krathong Festival is celebrated nationwide in Thailand, especially where there are rivers, canals or sources of water, with different unique characteristics.
Please find a selection of photos of Loy Krathong.
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