Loy Krathong is my one of my favourite festivals in Thailand (other than Songkran! The water massive fight festival, That I am yet to experience.. one day.. one day…). Loy Krathong is held every year on the night of the 12th lunar month (usually the end of November).
Loy/Loi means ‘to float’, while krathong usually refers to the lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. A krathong is decorated with folded banana leaves, incense sticks, and a candle. We were told that if we put a stand of Hair or a clipping of your nail or a coin in with the Loy Krathong it will take away the negative or bad things in your life.
The hotel staff at the Serenity resort were very surprised when we pulled our a few hairs and put them on our Krathong, not many foreigners know about this custom. Releasing the Loy Krathong is great to do as a couple as it’s the time to make a wish for happiness together and success in life and love.
During this festival you can also enjoy a Beauty Contest “Nopphamat Queen Contests”. We stayed at Serenity during the festival and had the chance to enjoy this contest with some of the female hotel staff, they all dressed up in traditional Thai dress (which are amazing by the way!) and collected roses.
The female attendant with the most roses won the contest. You could purchase the roses from the other wait staff and all the money went to a charity, what a wonderful idea. It was a lot of fun and a really great night! We bought a few dozen roses trying to get our favourite waitress (Gun – her name) to the top and we did, she won!! She deserved it, she gave the best service we have experienced in our years of travel (and from working in hotels myself), always going above and beyond, saving our table, telling us about locals events and things to do! We were sad when she moved to Bangkok!
During the event the hotel put on we got to experience traditional Thai dance, dressed in traditional Thai clothing. The dance was very interesting an not something we had experience before, there was lots of hopping and ballet type dancing.
My FAVOURITE part of this festival is the sky lanterns aka “lucky Balloons” by people selling them on the beach. The lanterns are made from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached, when the fuel cell is lit the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the lantern to float up in to the sky. During the festival you can see 10000’s in the sky. If you are in Phuket head to Chalong pier, there are so many people here or stay at Serenity Phuket and you can see all of the lanterns coming off the pier, its just beautiful!
Loy Krathong is a Must do if you are in Thailand during this festival. Don’t miss out on this incredible experience.