Full Moon Festival

Loy Krathong at Chulalongkorn University. Photo: Patipat Janthong

One of Thailand's most popular festivals, Loy Krathong, will be celebrated from tomorrow. This year, the Full Moon of the 12th lunar month falls on Nov 3.

The Loy Krathong Festival dates to the Sukhothai period over seven centuries ago. It is a time for people to pay respect to the Lord Buddha and seek forgiveness from the goddess of water for any misdeeds against water. The word loy means "to float", while krathong is a lotus blossom-shaped vessel containing flowers, candles and incense sticks which people float down a river, or on a lake or pond.

The festival usually features fireworks, parades, krathong-making contests and beauty pageants in which beauty queens hold the title of nang noppamart.

Here are some of the major events:

BANGKOK: The Chao Phraya River is the centre of the celebrations. Tomorrow evening, visitors can float their krathong down the river or the ponds at various venues, including Santi Chaiprakan Park, Asiatique The Riverfront, Rama VIII Bridge, Dusit Zoo, Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University's Tha Phra Chan campus, Kasetsart University's Bang Khen campus, Ramkhamhaeng University's Hua Mak and Bang Na campuses, Lumpini Park, Bung Kum pond, Phra Ram 9 Swamp and the annual Golden Mountain Fair.

SUKHOTHAI: The Sukhothai Loy Krathong and Candle Festival takes place annually at Sukhothai Historical Park. This year, the park will light up the historical ruins and allow visitors to enter and float their krathong until Nov 5 between 5.45am to midnight. A highlight is the light and sound performance "The Glory Of Sukhothai Kingdom" that is held nightly.

TAK: The "Loy Krathong Sai: Floating 1,000 Lanterns" event on the Ping River near the 200th Anniversary of Krung Rattanakosin Bridge 2 in Muang district, runs from tomorrow to Nov 7. There will be the procession of krathong granted by eight members of the royal family as well as parades of krathong sai and cultural performances.

MAE HONG SON: Buddhists pay respect to Phra That Doi Kong Mu stupa from Oct 31 to Nov 3. There is merit-making, a fireworks contest, a fruit-carving contest, a lantern contest and a variety of entertainment. Highlights are the making and presentation of khao mathupayas (rice dessert) to monks and a contest of making koksomtor (banana containers for carrying food for Buddha statues).

KANCHANABURI: The "Fresh Air And Water Under The Full Moon" fair will take place until Nov 4 from 6pm at the pier of Wat Tha Rua in Tha Maka district. Enjoy music, cultural performances, One Tambon One Product (Otop) goods and tasty food.

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: A krathong-making contest is taking place at Blue Port Hua Hin shopping centre today while parades will start at 6pm tomorrow at the clock tower in downtown Hua Hin and end at 7pm at Khao Tao Reservoir. Evening celebrations will be held at Queen's Park.

LOP BURI: The "Retro Loy Krathong" fair will be held at Sri Suriyothai Roundabout in Muang district today and tomorrow. There will be a parade of krathong, beauty contests, boxing contests, light and sound shows, entertainment and an Otop fair. People can also celebrate the festival near Bung Krachab Yai swamp in Hankha district tomorrow. Highlights are female boxing contests and an exhibition on the tradition.

NAKHON PATHOM: Celebrations will take place tomorrow at various places, including Kasetsart University's Kamphaeng Saen campus; near the Chedi Bucha Canal; at Wihan Deva Sathit in Muang district; at Samphran Riverside Resort in Sam Phran district; and Chavalan Resort in Don Tum district. A highlight is almsgiving in the middle of the Maha Sawat Canal in Phutthamonthon district starting from 7.30am.

Call the TAT Call Centre 1672.

Email pichayas@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any news to share.

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