On the full moon day In November every year, there is a major festival in Thailand, called “Loy Krathong (or Loi Krathong)”. For this festival, Thai people go to float a Krathong away on a river, a Krathong is a floating object usually made by banana leaves as well as a piece of trunk of a banana tree. A Krathong is also usually decorated with flowers, joss sticks, and a candle. Just before floating it onto the water, People will also pray to the river angel and put a coin in Krathong because they believe that many unpleasant things will go with it. Apart from this, in every city, there is also a contest called “Nopphamat Queen Contests”, where there are Thai girls wearing Thai traditional clothes with a beautiful Krathong, usually at a well known mini stage.
In general, at night of 17th November 2013, a great number of both visitors and local people will go to Pattaya Beach for floating their Krathong, and because of that, there will be food and products from street stalls available beside the beach. But there are the other two options for those who would like to go floating krathong in different places around the city. The first one is Pattaya Floating Market, which is also offer the opportunity for visitors to enjoy the festival there, and the other one is Mabphrachan Resevoir, which could be more quieter as not many people know how to go there. For this year, Mimosa Pattaya is also a place for visitors to enjoy Krathong Festival as they have announced about the event already, although mimosa is not a really large place.
History of Loy Krathong (Loi Krathong)
Loi Krathong festival is a Thai tradition which has been conducted for a long time ago. Loi Krathong has been held since the middle of the eleventh to the middle of the twelfth lunar month, which is a great flood season- especially on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. When the moon shines at night, it makes rivers clear. It is very beautiful scenery which is suitable for floating Krathong.
In the past, we called Loi Krathong as Chong Pa Rieng- floating lantern of royal ceremony. It is a Brahman festival to worship Gods- Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma. When Thai people adopted Buddhism, they adapted this ceremony to honor the Buddhas cremated bone- the original Buddha at the second heaven ruler. They floated lantern to worship the foot-print of the Buddha on Nammathanati River beach in India.
Floating krathong along the river was created by Nang Noppamas; the most favorite concubines Sukhothai king. She made krathong as lotus-shaped. The king of Sukhothai floated it along the river. According to Sri Chula Lucks treatise, Phra Ruang (Sukhothai king) said From now on, on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, kings of Siam have to make floating lantern- like lotus-shaped- to worship the foot-print of the Buddha on Nammathanati River for ever after
In Rattanakosin period, people often made big and beautiful Krathong. According to Chao Phraya Dhipharachawongs historical annals said:-
In the twelfth lunar month on 14 and 15 waxing moon, I ask for members of the royal family and civil servants making big-sized krathongs- look like banana trunk rafts, they size 8-9 sauk width (an ancient Thai measure of length) and 10-11 sauk tall. They make for contesting each other. For example, some imitate krathong as Mount Meru – shaped and others make krathong as basket decorated with flowers. There are a lot of people to do these so they use a lot of money- about 20 chung (an ancient measure of weight).
The villagers in northern and north-eastern parts of Thailand often float lanterns. They are made of color paper. If they float in the afternoon, they will use smoke for floating lanterns while they use torch to set smoke in lanterns to float them in wind chill at night. We can see the light from lantern in the sky with moonshine and stars glitter at night, which is very beautiful.