Chiang-Mai Loy Krathong festival
Loy Krathong festival is called the “most romantic” holiday in Thailand. It held every year on the full moon of the twelfth month in the Thai Lunar Calendar.
This festival is believed to date back to the Sukhothai period over 700 years ago. People pay respects to the Lord Buddha and seek forgiveness from the goddess of water for any misdeeds against water.
The festival is also call this the “Thailand Floating Festival”, where the meaning of releasing of the floating floral arrangements (the krathongs) in to a body of water symbolizes you sending your bad luck, guilt, and everything else negative out of life.
The word “Loy” means “to float”, and “Krathong” means lotus-shaped vessel made of banana leaves flowers, or paper, in which candles, incense sticks, flowers and confectionery are placed.
Every year, many organizations usually create their big decorated rafts. There are also local and officially organised raft contests, regarding its beauty and craftsmanship. By the same time,”The Noppamas Queen Contest” is also organized so as to remind people to the lady named “Noppamas” who created Krathong for the first time in Sukhothai era.
There are also fireworks during the celebration of the festival. Additionally, Thai hot air balloons, called Khom Loys, are released and there are also fireworks displays. Loy Krathong is a colorful and fun filled festival, especially in Chiang Mai.
Top 10 things to do on Loy KraThong Festival in Chiang Mai
1) Create your own Krathong
Commence your festival experience with a Krathong-making demonstration in Lanna tradition at Chiang Mai City & Art Culture Museum and then design and create your own candlelit float. The demonstration will be performed daily, at the second floor of the Museum. Free of charge. Open daily except Mondays. Prapokklao rd., behind Three Kings Monument. www.cmocity.com
2) Walk in the old city and see colorful front door decorations
It is a tradition for Loy Krathong to decorate the front doors of temples and private houses. Archways of banana stems suddenly appear outside templeds, homes and businesses, and hanging lanterns, or “Khom”., are hung anywhere possible. With their beautiful colors and delicate paper streamers these lanterns glow with a warn charm in the night, along with yellow flames and thousands of miniature terracotta nightlights flickering in walls and gateposts in the city, Everywhere in the city and mostly inside the moat.
3) See the hot air balloon release at Lok Molee temple
Notable for this massive chedi, which was built in 1527, Wat Lok Molee is one of the most beautiful temple in Chiang Mai, The temple will have religious rituals along with day time contest of hot balloons flying. Maneemoparat road.
4) Visit a shop or a home factory which sells hanging lanterns
Hanging lanterns are made of bamboo and saa paper. In Northern Thailand there are four different purposes to hand lanterns. Lanterns can be purchased almost everywhere during Loy Krathong, especially around local markets, Two of the famous areas housing a huge number of lantern home-factories are in Borsang (Sankampaeng Rd.) and in the area close to the Holiday Inn Hotel.
5) View sport Compettition on Ping River (at white chedi), then witness lanterns exhibition
During day time there will be sport competition on the Ping river, next to the American Consulate (diving, rafting and rowing). Then you can go back in the time of ancient Lanna at Thapae Gate and Three King Monument and witness hundreds of different lanterns, from 6 pm to 12 pm.
6) See magical lights at Wat Pan tao
At night, monks from Wat Pan Tai light up thousands of candles around temple’s pond. This ceremony is unique and can only be witnessed in this temple. Prapokklao road., Next to Chedi Luang Temple.
7) Romantic dinner by Ping riverside
Some selection of restaurants with a beautiful view over Ping river or an unforgettable atmosphere stunned by thousands of lanterns in the sky.
• The Riverside Bar and Restaurant
Beautiful setting, great live music and delicious Thai and international cuisines along Ping River Tel: 053-243239
• The Good View Bar &Restaurant
Wine and dine besides the well-known Ping River. The Good View serves fashionable food and drinks. Tel: 053-241866
• Deck 1 Bar & Restaurant
By far the trendiest joint down on the river, Deck 1’s takes on contemporary riverside dining is utterly charming. Serving up Asian fusion fare, the eclectic menu is creative while the resident Jazz band offers the perfect soundtrack to enjoy the delights of the riverside views. Enjoy the full sky of Yee peng and a 360 degrees panorama over the colorful river full of Krathongs. Tel: 053-302788
8 ) Float your Krathong on the Ping River
Krathongs are traditionally made from banana stem and leaves, They are beautifully decorated with candles, incense sticks and flowers. Superstitious people will place tuffs of hair or clipped finger – nails in them in the hope of riding themselves of a spell or bad luck. If you wish to float your Krathong in a quiet place, go to Chai Mongkon temple, on Charoenprathet rosd. But if you are adventurous, stand on Nawarat bridge and float your krathong alongside: adding to the surreal beautify are constant fireworks displays that contribute even more fire and brilliant lights to the setting.
9) Launch thousands of Khom Loy all tat the same time – Lanna Meditation Sanctuary, Mae Jo
It is believed that by sending off a lantern and individual can send one’s bad luck and misfortune away in to the air. The most spectacular of the massed Khom Loy launches takes place at the back of Mae Jo University expect thousands of lanterns to be released in 5 minutes. If you don’t want to miss this once in a lifetime experience, be there earlier because it will be very crowded. Registration is required @ US $ 100, www.yeepenglanna.net
10) Loy Krathong Parade
The loy Krathong Parade features giant illuminated krathongs on top of which are perched candidates for the upcoming beauty contest. The parade goes from Phra Singh temple to Government’s how use (next to Thapae bridge). Passing through Thapae Gate and Thapae rd. It starts from around 7 pm. until very late at night.
by Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa
12/2 M.8 , T. Maeram, A.Maerim, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Reference : www.changpuakmagazine.com