Last November, a captivating sight took place at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, where people gathered at the lake, and under the enchanting moonlit sky, they released their Krathong crafts onto the water. It’s a beautiful and deeply spiritual scene, surprising many with its harmonious blend of tradition and tranquility. (Photo courtesy of Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Somsak Thepsuthin, voiced his expectations of the forthcoming Loy Krathong festival, an acclaimed soiree that fills the historical landscapes of the northern province, Sukhothai, with color, culture, and camaraderie. Taking place between November 18th and 27th, the DPM anticipates the celebratory event will attract as many as 750,000 local and international sightseers. The resulting economic aftermath is predicted to generate an impressive revenue of up to 800 million baht.
As the sun set on Saturday, the festival took an enticing start, presided over by Mr. Somsak himself. With an enthusiastic turnout of 47,064 festival-goers recorded on the very first day, the ten-day celebration is expected to be a grand success, and could potentially see a footfall expanding to 750,000 by its completion.
“The popularity of Loy Krathong, especially in Sukhothai, is a testament to its fascinating display of Thai traditions and culture. This wintertime festival is one of many events the government promotes to reinvigorate tourism and further boost the economy,” noted Mr. Somsak, a proud native of Sukhothai. He also proudly underlined the festival’s magnetic charm that draws an immense number of foreign tourists.
Mr. Somsak emphasized that the festival is not just about enjoyment and tradition, but also prioritizes the safety and convenience of the attendees. He affirmed that he has given strict instructions to the relevant government agencies to ensure festival-goers receive top-notch amenities and reliable safety measures, a vital step to leaving a positive impression on the tourists, thereby encouraging their return in the future.
Marking the apex of the festival on November 27th, which is also Loy Krathong Day, is the anticipated presence of Prime Minister Sretha Thavisin, marking it as a red-letter day on the festival calendar.
With its roots in an ancient Hindu festival, Loy Krathong has evolved into a revered Thai tradition; it is a special time to pay respects to water spirits and show appreciation to Buddha. The-themed ‘krathong’ is a small vessel or basket, and ‘loy’ stands for the word ‘float.’ Visitors and devotees float these krathongs with utmost reverence, embodying the spirit of tradition, respect, and community that the festival promotes.