History of Loy Krathong PDF Print
Thursday, 02 September 2010 10:03

Loy Krathong is a traditional Thai ceremony to honor the Goddess of the river. The vibrant activity is held in Thailand on the full moon night in November every year. A “krathong” is a small boat usually made of cut banana stems and leaves. Loy Krathong revelers put flowers, candles and joss sticks on their tiny boats before releasing them into a river and leaving them to float downstream.

One of the objectives of Loy Krathong is to seek forgiveness from the Goddess of the river for having polluted waterways. Before releasing the small and elaborate boat into the river, one may make wishes for a better future, prosperity or happiness. Loy Krathong is also a symbol of discarding one's grudges, anger and defilements so that one can start life afresh.


During the Loy Krathong festival which is at the end of the rainy season, most areas nearby rivers and canals are flooded, as a Thai saying goes: Flooding in the 11th lunar month and floodwaters retreating in the 12th lunar month. This is the time to rejoice as the rainy season is over and the weather is changing for the better. Thai people look forward to a cool season while the moon is at its brightest during this time of the year.


A century-old Thai festivity, Loy Krathong has been handed down from generation to generation. On the Loy Krathong day, each community or family is busy preparing materials to make small boats. The materials are mostly available in the community without having to buy them. One family may offer their materials to the other in a friendly manner. The materials range from banana stems to banana leaves, joss sticks, candles and flowers. On this very day of festival, most family and community members are joyful and anxiously look forward to merriment after sunset. Their conversations are full of gaiety and laughter.

Later in the day, many beautifully-crafted "krathong" are put on display for a contest to be followed by a release into the water when dusk falls. As the sun disappears from the horizon, the moon gradually lifts itself up and shines with full brightness. The lunar reflection on the water, a blessing to one's eyes, prompts revelers to head for nearby waterways to celebrate the Loy Krathong festival. Before releasing a small boat into the river, one usually asks for forgiveness from the Goddess of the river for having polluted the waterways as well as makes a wish for future happiness.


Some components of the Loy Krathong tradition will be adapted for the function of a robot-a real challenge to young contestants’ creativity and innovation. All contestants should fully display their capabilities in accordance with the key objective of this event which is: “One who wins over himself and wins over others is the all-time winner.”

Last Updated on Friday, 01 October 2010 00:33