As the full moon casts its radiant glow over Thailand on November 27, the nation will come alive in vibrant color and festivity during the Loy Krathong celebration. Held on the night of the 12th lunar month’s full moon, Loy Krathong sees Thais paying homage to Phra Mae Khongkha, the resplendent Goddess of Water, by casting intricately decorated floats or ‘krathongs’ over bodies of water.
But this illustrious event is not merely a spiritual gathering, it is an extravagant spectacle that celebrates Thai culture in its rawest form. Fireworks burst into shimmering cascades of color, illuminating the night skies, while some regions add another touch of magic, orchestrating a display of lanterns soaring up into the sky, their glow adding to the ethereal charm of the night.
According to TAT, the Thai tourism authority, the festival is anticipated to see a travel surge of approximately 2.04 million locals, who will be flocking to provinces known for hosting the most grandiose celebrations. Places like the buzzing capital Bangkok, historical Sukhothai, and scenic Chiang Mai will see their average hotel occupancy rates hit around 58% during the momentous period.
“While the festival is a beacon of excitement, there is a cautious undertone among the population due to the escalating cost of living,” explains Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT governor. “We’re not expecting a drastic rise in spendings compared to the previous’ year’s festivities.”
Indeed, a survey conducted by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) reinforces this sentiment, revealing that 40% of Thais plan on celebrating Loy Krathong within the familiarity of their own hometowns, with 39% intending to venture to closer provinces. Meanwhile, the northern and central regions, alongside Bangkok and its metropolitan area, as well as the northeastern region, emerged as crowd-favorite destinations.
In an effort to spotlight local culture and environmentally friendly practices, Thapanee announces that TAT will host a Loy Krathong festival at Phadung Krung Kasem canal in Bangkok from November 25-27. The focus will be on promoting the heritage and traditions of riverside communities, alongside encouraging the usage of biodegradable krathongs to lessen environmental impact.
Moreover, TAT plans to host Loy Krathong celebrations in five key provinces, primarily to bolster tourism. The provinces include Sukhothai (November 18-27), Tak (November 24-27), Chiang Mai (November 26-28), Samut Songkhram (November 18-27), and Roi Et (November 26-27). So prepare for a heady mix of resplendent festivities, cultural discoveries, and sustained environmental consciousness during this year’s Loy Krathong.