WHERE: Sukhotai and Chiang Mai, Thailand
WHEN: 27 – 28 November 2023
Every year, on the full moon night of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar, Thailand celebrates one of the most awaited and exciting ceremonies: the Loi Krathong.
The celebrations, in reality, occur throughout the week. You enter the living on 28th day. A very rich and unique ceremony, with truly wonderful performances. Chiang Mai and Sukhotai, in Thailand, are the best known places; the ceremony, however, also takes place in Burma, Laos and Cambodia. The latter, therefore, can be a valid alternative to the most famous Thai cities.
The Loi Krathong, celebrated throughout Thailand, is a ceremony in which water is the predominant element. Its original name means “Floating Basket”. The Krathong, in fact, are baskets made mostly with flowers and banana leaves. Often, there are some facts of other material, such as bread; it is always and in any case of biodegradable substances. The baskets, in fact, containing candles, incense, and even food or coins, are floated on the water.
Photo ©, Klim Levene
The party begins in the evening, when everyone congregates on the banks of the river with their own Krathong. In an almost surreal silence, everyone turns on their candle in the basket, letting it float along the river. Everything lights up. A real sign of devotion towards the Buddha. Leaving the basket to float, one wants to symbolize the abandonment of misfortune and negativity. As well as driving away and driving away bad luck by floating the Krathong, respect and gratitude is shown to the Water Goddess “Phra Makhongkha”.
The Loi Krathong ceremony then continues with songs, dances, fireworks and … large banquets. You can eat at really low prices.
Although it has become a mass party, the Thailand Lantern Festival has managed to maintain its suggestive charm.
The best locations in Thailand are, first of all, the historical park of Sukhotai, north of the city. The splendid place has been declared world heritage by UNESCO. No less interesting, and loads of suggestion, are the events of Chiang Mai and other Thai cities.
It is possible to reach Sukhotai, by plane doing a couple of stopovers and landing in Bangkok. From the Thai capital, you reach the city in just over an hour’s flight. From the airport, you can reach via a shuttle bus, both the old city and the new city of Sukhotai.
Chiang Mai can be reached by air, via Hong Kong or Bangkok. From the airport, you can reach the center by bus or by taxi. We recommend the latter, for the prices certainly not exorbitant.
Those who have previously stopped in Chiang Mai can think of reaching Sukhotai by bus. The journey takes from 5 to 6 hours. Buses leave from the Arcade Bus Terminal. The ticket can be purchased directly at the terminal and costs around €7.
The event takes place at the same time as another international event, also in Thailand: Yi Peng. The lanterns are the common element. The difference is that during Yi Peng, lanterns are raised into the sky, and are not allowed to drift into the water.
As always, there is no ideal structure. Choosing to stay in the new city rather than in the old one, is a matter of meringuemente subjective. From this link, the best facilities available at the best price. Hotel, Resort, Guesthouse … there really is something for all tastes and budgets!
*All the contents are purely indicative. Before taking part in the event, please consult the official website.
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