The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) projects the Loy Krathong festival will be bustling this year, with key activities attracting 633,600 visitors this month.
Vilaiwan: 40% to be satisfied with events
Activities are planned in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Suphan Buri, where the TAT suspended the festival last year due to floods.
The TAT has allocated 20 million baht to support eight major events during the last week of November to celebrate Loy Krathong.
In Bangkok, the Delightful Colour of Stream will be held along Chao Phraya River attractions comprising Asiatique the Riverfront, the Krungthep Bridge and the Krung Thon Bridge.
An illuminated float procession and light decoration will take place from Nov 26-28 along the river.
At the Sukhothai Historical Park from Nov 24-28 will be the Dawn of Happiness procession, where visitors can enjoy floating lanterns, a fireworks display and the Miss Noppamas beauty contest.
Also a Krathong Desire contest will take place along with a light and sound presentation.
Vilaiwan Twichasri, the TAT's deputy governor for tourism products and business, expects activities at the eight locations to earn the industry some 817 million baht, up from 606 million last year and 522 million in 2010.
The TAT is confident these events will increase the number of travellers during Loy Krathong, with 80% domestic tourists, 17% foreign tourists and 3% media.
She believes up to 70% of visitors will recognise the identity of the Loy Krathong festival at each destination, while 40% of them will be satisfied with the events.
The TAT hopes each event will help to promote the destination and the value of Thai culture and history, she said.
The original festival in Thailand was initiated during the Sukhothai period as Loy Pratip or Loy Khom (floating lanterns).
Noppamas (the Sukhothai King's favourite concubine) created a krathong (lotus-shaped boat) to float in the river.
Thais still pay tribute today. On the 12th full moon of the year, people use banana trunks, flowers, stick candles and incense to make krathong.
The idea is to ask for forgiveness from Phra Mae Khongkha so that she may take with her all misfortunes.
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- Writer: Chadamas Chinmaneevong