Loy Krathong, or Loi Krathong, is one of Thailand’s festivals that is celebrated every year. The Loi Krathong celebration usually takes place in the month of November as this coincides with the full moon on the 12th month of the lunar calendar used by Thais. Various people and historians have actually different interpretations about why Loy Krathong is celebrated, but many believe that the festival is actually related to the Buddhist or Brahmanical festival which was celebrated centuries ago. The activities involved in Loy Krathong are said to be a celebration of the original Buddha, and this is represented by the candles or lights in the decorative rafts. The floating rafts with flowers and candles also represent people’s letting go of negative emotions and vibes like anger, fear, and disappointments.
Aside from Thailand, Loy Krathong is also celebrated in other countries like Laos and Burma. The main part of the celebration is the creation of boats and rafts made of banana leaves or paper. The raft is then decorated with flowers and candles. Some people also put food, coins, and other things into the raft. The coins are used as a means of protection against evil spirits. Rafts are then placed on the river to symbolize letting go of negativity. Some people also make their own wishes while letting go of their floating rafts while others pray for guidance and peace. This activity is done at night and during the full moon in November.
Besides its Buddhist connections, Loy Krathong is celebrated by other people as a means of thanksgiving to “Phra Mae Kongka,” the goddess of water. Some also associate the festival as an offering to the pagoda. Despite differences in views and opinion, Loy Krathong remains a popular celebration in Thailand. Today, competitions are held for the most beautiful raft, and the celebration is also greeted with much fanfare and fireworks.