Loy Krathong 2023| Unveiling The Captivating History, Meaning, Rituals, Beliefs and Legends

Loy Krathong

Have you ever wondered what truly makes the Thai Festival Loy Krathong so captivating? Where did this festival come from? What exactly is a krathong? And, why is water so central to this celebration? and the Symbolism and Significance of Loy Krathong and the Spiritual Beliefs and Practices behind this celebration.

We are here to answer all that! 

Best Places to Celebrate Loy Krathong

How to Make Enchanting Krathongs

What is Loy Krathong?

It is one of the most important events on the Thai festival calendar, it is a beautiful event to witness in person. This festival is always seen as a time for happiness, gratitude, and fresh starts, regardless of the precise timing. 

when is Loy Krathong celebrated?

Thai people celebrate the Loy Krathong Day on the full moon night of the 12th of the Thai lunar calendar probably it’s one of the Thailand November events according to the modern calendrical system but the Loy Krathong festival dates vary from year to year as we see in 2019 Loy Krathong festival takes place in 11th November. This year 2023 Loy Krathong falls on 27 November (Monday).

Dates of Loy Krathong Festival

2023November 27Monday
2024November 16Saturday
2025November 6Thursday

Loy Krathong Festival meaning

Loy means “to float,” Kratong describes the minimal, decorative boats made of banana leaves, flowers, burning incense, and candles floated during the festival. How to Make Enchanting Krathongs for Thailand Festival Loy Krathong 2023: A Step-by-Step Guide 

As implied by the festival’s name, the floating of krathongs over both small and big bodies of water around the nation is its main attraction. Depending on traditions and opinions of religious festivals in Thailand, this festival definition can vary, however, they can generally be stated as follows:

People give thanks to the goddess Phra Mae Khongkha, who represents all water bodies, as krathongs gently float on the water. It represents harmony with nature and is a lovely fusion of Hindu and indigenous ideas.

Thais also pay respect to Lord Buddha by giving gifts to heavenly pagodas or holy footsteps. 

The revered monk, Venerable Upagupta, also receives sincere tribute. 

The spiritual event is concluded with historical respect and the belief that Lord Vishnu is asleep atop a massive serpent. 

let’s see how this beautiful and captivating event begins.

Loy Krathong 2023| Unveiling The Captivating History, Meaning, Rituals, Beliefs and Legends

Origins and Legends

How did Loy Krathong begin?

In ancient times people of Thailand were familiar with the name kingdom of Sukhothai loy krathong can be traced to that time during the reign of King Ramkhamhaeng, who ruled from 1279 to 1298. Originally loi krathong festival was celebrated to express gratitude to the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha. In this way, Thai people seek forgiveness for their wrongdoings show their remorse for polluting the waterways, and ask for blessings and positivity for the upcoming year.

Legends Associated with Loy Krathong

1. The Nang Nopphamat Legend

Nang Nopphamat is one of the most popular legends she was associated with this enchanting event. In the Sukhothai period, she was a beautiful woman and was the companion of a high-ranking official, but the king was captured by the charm and beauty of Nang Nopphamat and started to desire her for himself.

After finding out the king’s plans, Nang Nopphamat devised a strategy to save herself and preserve her honor. Pretending it was a gift for the king, she made a gorgeously adorned krathong and floated it down the river. The krathong convinced the king that Nang Nopphamat had given her life in sacrifice for him. He realized his mistake and regret overcame him, and then he committed to rule his kingdom with justice and integrity.

2. The Story of Mae Khongkha

Mea Khongka, a water goddess with the ability to make the land prosperous, is the subject of the Loy Krathong tale. A terrible demon that sought Mea Khongka’s skills noticed her as the daughter of a strong king. She managed to outsmart the monster, nevertheless, and escaped his grasp. 

Mea Khongka encouraged the people to create and float krathongs, or beautifully decorated vessels, on the night of the full moon in honor of her victory. By performing this custom, one ensures Mea Khongka’s protection and blessings for the coming year and expresses gratitude and loyalty to her.

Cultural Significance and Traditional Customs on Loy Karathong

With time this event became culturally and spiritually one of the most important and biggest events. Thai people believe that this event brings them good luck spreads happiness among them and takes away all their negative energies so that they can start a new beginning. 

Further, they considered it an opportunity for them to honor the goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha. During this event, people gather around rivers, canals, and lakes to release baskets and light-up boats made of banana pith and leaves. Moreover, They also placed clipping fingernails or strands of their hair with coins. They made silent prayers for their desires and wishes before placing the krathong on the water creating a fascinating scene of floating lights and showing their thankfulness and remorse for polluting the waterways.

A stunning sight is produced as night falls when rivers and canals come to life with the warm glow of lanterns and flickering candles on krathongs. The lively celebrations are rounded up by traditional music and dance performances and wonderful street cuisine, which promotes a sense of community and cultural pride.

Spiritual Beliefs and Practices

Rituals: Sacred Actions People Perform On Loy Krathong Festival

1. Water Cleansing Ritual

People engage in a purification ceremony before launching the krathongs. While pouring water over their hands, people make wishes to represent the removal of impurities and the commencement of a new beginning.

2. Offering to the Water Goddess

This festival is an opportunity to pay homage to the water goddess, Mae Khongkha. Krathongs are offerings made, to express gratitude for the abundance and life that water brings.

3. Merit-making and Alms-giving

It is also a time for Virtuous Actions and charity activities in Thai Buddhist traditions. That’s why Many people visit temples to make offerings and donate gifts to monks, which promotes societal harmony and charity.

Loy Krathong 2023| Unveiling The Captivating History, Meaning, Rituals, Beliefs and Legends

Beliefs: Faith and Spirituality Associated With This Event

1. Renewal and Good Fortune

Thais believe that participating in Loy Krathong brings them renewal and good fortune. By releasing krathongs, They release negative energy and make future wishes. It’s a great occasion to reflect, purify your soul, and embrace positivity.

2. Connection with Nature

This captivating festival draws attention to the close relationship that Thais have with the environment, particularly with water. This celebration serves as a reminder of the crucial function water plays in supporting life and encouraging growth because water is thought of as a life-giving factor.

3. Cultural Identity and Unity

Loy Krathong is a festival that celebrates Thai cultural identity and unity. It brings people from all walks of life together, establishing a sense of community and shared heritage. Through this celebration, Thai customs are passed down from generation to generation, ensuring their preservation.


The deeply rooted custom of Thailand’s festival of lights Loy Krathong captivates both residents and tourists. This famous festival honors water spirits and symbolizes harmony, generosity, and new beginnings. On the river, krathongs embrace people’s optimism for the future and encourage them to let go of negativity. Furthermore, to express thanks for nature’s lovely gifts, loy krathong brings communities together and strengthens cultural identities.  This event supports people in forming strong bonds and personal ties through this celebratory gathering. Loy krathong leaves an indelible imprint on the hearts of all who see its mesmerizing beauty, the glorious music of joy, reverence, and thankfulness.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Loy Krathong festival?

Loy Krathong is a captivating Thai festival celebrating the goddess of water. People release small, decorative baskets (Krathongs) on water bodies, symbolizing letting go of negativity and embracing hope.

2. When should you celebrate Loy Krathong?

Loy Krathong is celebrated on the full moon night of the 12th Thai lunar month, usually in November.

3. Why do we celebrate the Loy Krathong festival?

Loy Krathong honors the water goddess, expresses gratitude for water’s gifts, and seeks forgiveness for polluting waterways. It’s a time for renewal and good fortune.

4. How do Thai people celebrate the Loy Krathong festival?

People create Krathongs with candles and flowers, gently floating them on water. They make wishes, perform rituals, and partake in joyous gatherings.

6. Where is the best place to celebrate Loy Krathong?

Popular destinations include Chiang Mai, Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, and Sukhothai, where it originated.

7. Is Loy Krathong a religious festival?

Yes, it combines ancient beliefs with Hindu and Buddhist influences, making it a spiritual celebration.

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