It’s time again for Thailand’s annual festival of lights. This lovely tradition dates back centuries to a time when locals would float candlelit rafts on the rivers and waterways of Thailand to honour the river goddess and unburden themselves of guilt, bad luck and negative thoughts. Today, this festival remains a beautiful spectacle to witness in Bangkok and the rest of provincial Thailand.
However, this year’s Loy Krathong festivities are going to be a bit different than they usually are. In light of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand is in the midst of a one-year mourning period. For the first 30 days of this period, local businesses and organisations have been asked to tone down all entertainment and celebrations. This year’s Loy Krathong is observed on 14 November, which means it falls on the last end of that 30-day period.
How Will This Year’s Loy Krathong Be Different?
Loy Krathong has always been a time for family and loved ones to come together and observe its rites. Floating a candlelit krathong raft on the river is something that can be done as a couple or even a family. This isn’t seen as an act of celebration or entertainment. Instead, it’s symbolically viewed as a means of letting go of your negative thoughts and past transgressions. In that sense, it’s a potent symbol for Thailand as people move past the initial 30-day mourning period.
The festivals staged around Thailand usually feature a few more celebratory aspects as well:
- Traditional Thai beauty pageants
- Cultural expositions
This year, those celebratory activities are being cancelled. But Thai people around the country are still going to come out together to float krathongs on the rivers and local waterways. And tourists and visitors are welcome to join them in this.
Loy Krathong Festival Highlight: Lantern Festival at Hat Yai
Every year, our guests eagerly ask where the best place is for them to observe the festival and even launch a khratong over the water. For those staying at Centre Point Thong Lo, there are plenty of parks and gardens in the area where locals will participate in the festival. Likewise, large markets and celebrations are arranged at key places around the city.
But Bangkok is only one city, and there are many other places to enjoy the festival as well. Hat Yai is one such place. Located in the far south of Thailand, Hat Yai hosts one of the country’s liveliest and most colourful Loy Krathong festivals. The main attraction is the International Lantern Display, but there are usually several other sights and activities to enjoy as well.
Enjoying Loy Krathong in Thonglor
This year’s Lantern Festival at Hat Yai is likely to be toned down significantly, if not cancelled altogether. However, tourists across Thailand will still have the opportunity to engage in the more traditional aspects of this special occasion. If you’re staying at Centre Point Thong Lo and would like to know where you can go to launch a krathong, please don’t hesitate to ask our front-d