The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is promoting multiple Loi Krathong Festival 2017 events in Bangkok and five unique destinations to celebrate one of the Kingdom’s oldest and most colourful traditions.
Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said while the country’s Loi Krathong Festival dates back centuries, its popularity with overseas visitors continues to grow as tourists seek exceptional Thai local experiences.
“Loi Krathong is among Thailand’s most impressive cultural events, so it is a precious cultural resource rooted in ‘Thainess‘. It takes place during one of the best times of the year when the moon is full, weather is cool and foliage is green from annual monsoon rains.”
The special activities TAT planned in Bangkok and five unique locations include:
Santi Chaiprakan Park, Bangkok (1 to 3 November, from 17:00-22:00 Hrs.)Special activities of the three-day ‘Loi Krathong Festival 2017’ include ‘krathong’ crafting with only biodegradable materials; ‘Retro Nostalgic’ market; demonstrations on the traditional Thai way of life including Royal Thai Cuisine cooking and floral garland making; traditional krathong processions; ‘krathong’ floating on the Chao Phraya River; Khon Ramayana and Thai instrumental performances. There are also displays of Loi Krathong traditions of Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Tak and Samut Songkhram.
Various venues in the city centre, Chiang Mai (1 to 5 November, from 19:00 Hrs.)
Chiang Mai’s annual ‘Yi Peng Festival 2017’ highlights ‘krathong’ crafting from banana leaves and ‘Sapao‘ (mini boat) making from 2 to 5 November at the Three Kings Monument; traditional Lanna ‘krathong’ floating on the Ping River on 3 November; fireworks and krathong processions contest on 4 November at the Tha Phae Gate, and releasing fire lanterns around Nawarat Bridge on 3 to 4 November.
Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai (1 to 5 November, from 16:00-23:00 Hrs.)
Highlight of the five-day ‘Sukhothai Loi Krathong and Candle Festival 2017’ includes a special exhibition to honour and pay tribute to Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A daily ‘Greeting of the Dawn of Happiness” ceremony is scheduled at 05:45 Hrs. while the evening Khao Kwan Wan Len Fire (traditional Sukhothai gala dinner) is from 17:30 Hrs. and the ‘The Glorious Sukhothai Kingdom‘ light-and-sound performance is from 19:30 Hrs. Other activities include showcases of old-style Sukhothai villages and markets; traditional krathong processions, candle lighting activities, krathong floating, and multiple contests including krathong making and a ‘Miss Noppamas’ beauty pageant. Tickets to the light-and-sound are priced at 300, 600, and 900 Baht, while the gala dinner is at 500 Baht per person.
Various venues around Simummueng, Ayutthaya (3 November, from 19:30 Hrs.)
Festivities of the ‘Historical City of Ayutthaya and Loi Krathong Festival 2017’ are held under the Pridi Bridge, Sri Suriyothai Pagoda, Chankasem Palace and Petch Fortress around Ayutthaya province. These include a ‘Miss Noppamas Beauty Contest’; krathong and fire lantern contests; Thai country music performances and contest; OTOP exhibition (local handicrafts, cotton and silk garments, pottery, fashion accessories, household items and of course lots of delicious food).
Wat Pummarin Kudeethong, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram (3 November)
The unique ‘Loi Krathong Kap Kluai Mae Klong 2017’ celebrations include demonstrations of krathong making, carving and weaving from banana tree trunks (kap kluai); the floating of 200,000 of these special krathongs; Thai dance procession, ‘retro’ Thai dancing and student parade; multiple contests including Mom and Daughter, krathong making, Thai dance among many others.
Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi Bridge, Tak (3 to 7 November)
Tak’s annual ‘Loi Krathong Sai Lai Prathip Phan Duang’ or floating 1,000 fire lanterns festival boasts an opening ceremony inclusive of a magnificent performance including ceremonies to honour the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (King’s Cup Procession); processions of a thread of krathongs made from coconut shells and other Thai local performances; the competition of floating a train of 1,000 glittering lanterns or coconut-shell krathongs for a royal trophy; a walking street, photo content and OTOP exhibition.
In addition to Bangkok and the five destination celebrations that TAT supported, there are festivities planned at locations across the country with the ‘krathong’ floating activity scheduled to take place on the full moon night of 3 November.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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