Loy Krathong is one of the most beautiful and picturesque festivals in Thailand where the lakes, canals and rivers all come alive with a sea of flickering lights as people gather together near waterways to float their Krathong.
The most elaborate celebrations happen in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai with people flocking to both locations to see the array of uniquely created Krathong each year. In Bangkok, you will find many hotels and restaurants, especially those in the vicinity of the Chao Phraya river, Wat Arun and The Grand Palace, will host special firework displays and opportunities for families to get together.
Events will include traditional Thai dinners, dance performances and workshops for kids to create their own Krathong to then float into the river. Schools will host mini celebrations for the kids to dress up in national costumes and make their own small Krathong to float either in small paddling pools especially set-up for the festival or in some cases into the river, if they are lucky enough to have one nearby.
Whichever way you decide to celebrate it, you will get to see Thailand as its best and brightest.
About Loy Krathong
The Loy Krathong festival is held once a year on the night of the full moon and this year it falls on Friday November 19th so Bangkok will be especially busy with it falling on the same day as Halloween!
This year in particular people will want to send away their bad luck after the last ten months of the Covid-19 pandemic and here’s hoping the festival of light brings brighter days to us all. Gatherings this year will be possible but expect limited venues, controlled numbers and the fact that you must wear a mask during the festivities in public places.
This gracious festival is an integral part of Thai culture. Although the festival has deep historical origins, the prime focus is the floating of the Krathong (offering). A Krathong is a lotus shaped float that is usually made from banana leaves and decorated with flowers and incense sticks. ‘Loy’ in Thai means to float and the principal belief is that while floating your Krathong away, this will also float away any misfortunes or bad lack. The celebration is also a time where gratitude is offered and prayers are recited for good luck.
Where To Buy And Create
The festival has become more commercialized over recent years with Krathongs being made from bread and waffle cones in the shapes of animals and cartoon characters. Many small shops offer children the opportunity to make their own Krathong allowing their imaginations to run wild!
A great place to see and buy Krathong in Bangkok is at the iconic Yodpiman flower market in the old town. The most recent extension to the MRT subway line has made getting to the old town and river easier than ever, with both being a short walk from the new Sanam Chai station, exit 4.
We join our voice to others around Thailand in urging everyone to only use natural materials when creating or purchasing a Krathong to avoid polluting the rivers and streams. Last year over 840,000 Krathong were retrieved from Bangkok city waterways and although 95% were made from decomposable materials, 5% were still made from styrofoam – so please purchase wisely!
Where To Watch
If you want to take your children to experience the more traditional celebration, the best place to experience this is along the Chao Phraya river where Bangkok’s official Loy Krathong festivities will take place near the Rama VIII Bridge, at Asiatique and Icon Siam. The larger more ornate and elaborate Krathongs will be on display close to the Grand Palace and a great way to see them all is from one of the cruise boats that offer Loy Krathong special dinners and it’s definitely worth experiencing this once during your stay in Thailand. Check-out this great list of family friendly Loy Krathong celebrations.
If you want to see the festivities near your home, there are over 30 public parks across the city that will host events. However due to the current situation in Bangkok would would highly recommend you check in advance in the local newspapers and websites for more current information on where festivities will be hosted as things could possibly change at the last minute.
Loy Krathong in Bangkok Parks
- In Khlong Toei, Benjasiri Park; Benjakitti Park
- Lumpini Park in Pathumwan district and Chatuchak and Suan Rod Fai parks in Chatuchak
- In Ladkrabang, Suan Pranakorn and 60th Anniversary of Queen Sirikit Park
- In Phra Nakhon, Suan Saranrom and Ramini Nat and Santi Chai Prakan parks
- In Thung Khru, Thonburi Rom Park
- In Bueng Kum, Serithai and Nawamin Phirom parks
- In Nong Chok, Suan Nong Chok Park
- In Min Buri, Bung Krathi Water Park and Suan Phraya Phirom Park
- In Khlong Sam Wa, Waree Phirom Park;In Nong Chok, Suan Rat Phirom Park
- In Bang Kho Laem, Chalerm Phrakiat 6 King’s Park
- In Ratchathewi, Peace Park
- In Bang Khen, Ramintra Sports Park
- In Don Mueang, Rommanee Thung Si Kan Park
- In Prawet, Chaloem Phrakiat Mahatthai and Suan Wantham parks
- In Thawi Watthana, Thawi Watthana Garden Park
- In Bang Phlat, Suan Luang Rama 8 Park;In Lat Phrao, Bueng Nam Park
- In Bangkok Noi, Sirinthara Prueksaphan and Suan Chaloem Phrakiat parks
- In Sathorn, Suan Chaloem Phrakiat Park
- In Bang Khae, Bang Khae Phirom Park
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