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Friday, November 19, 2021

On the day of the full moon, in the twelfth month of the traditional Thai lunisolar calendar, Thailand shines in a very special glow. The whole country lights up, floating torches or floating light boats fill the night with a magical glow and both residents and tourists celebrate until the early hours of the morning.

It is one of the most famous and probably most beautiful festivals in all of Thailand - the Loy Krathong (also called Loi Krathong or Yi Peng), better known as the Festival of Lights. The great festival takes place every year on the night of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, between the end of October and the end of November. This year, the day falls on November 19, 2021.

There are many myths and legends surrounding the festival of lights itself, so that it is not possible to provide one hundred percent facts about its origins. However, it is most likely that Loy Krathong originates from India and thus goes back to a Hindu origin. It is often referred to as a thanksgiving to the deity of the Ganges, which is celebrated with floating lanterns.

This tradition started in Sukhothai, the former capital of Thailand, but is now celebrated all over the country. It doesn't matter in which province, whether in a big city like Chiang Mai, Bangkok or even in a tiny village - the entire country is in a celebratory mood during the festival of lights, and especially in those places where rivers and canals are located. During Loy Krathong, the Thais float lights and lotus-shaped boats made of banana leaves, so-called Krathongs, decorated with flowers and burning candles. The small boats are meant to honor the river goddess Mae Khongka and ask for forgiveness. Even in neighboring countries such as Laos or Myanmar, the festival of lights is celebrated in a big way.

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