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 means ‘to float’, while krathong refers to a usually lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. The traditional krathong are made of the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. For many Thai it symbolizes letting go of negative thoughts. However, many ordinary Thai use the krathong to thank the Goddess of Water,
Loy Krathong takes place all over Thailand and parts of Lao and Burma but Supaporn, a Couchsurfing friend, and I traveled by bus 7 hours from Bangkok to Tak situated on the banks of the Ping River in NW Thailand to experience the Loy Krathong Festival there.
The Yi Peng Festival takes place at the same time so as well as Krothongs floating down the river we enjoyed hundreds of thin rice paper lanterns floating up in the sky. It is a time for making merit.
Waiting for the evening festivities, we also visited Bhomipol Dam about 3 hours out of Tak. But the bus dropped us off well before the dam. Supaporn put me out on the road to hitch a ride. They will never pick me up, she said, but they will stop for you! Ha! The last time I hitchhiked was Europe the summer of 1965! This sexy Thai guy from Chiang Mai picked us up in his pickup. He had a string of medals on his dashboard which he explained was from his work doing research on Bonsai…one of the King’s many projects to provide jobs and benefit the people of Thailand.
Tags: Festivals & Ceremonies, Tak, Thailand