Loy Krathong is a traditional Thai festival celebrated annually and known as the ‘festival of lights’.
The date of the festival is marked by the appearance of the full moon, which means that the times vary every year. However, as a general guide, Loy Krathong is held in November.
Loy Krathong Festival of Lights 2023 Lantern Dates, Chiang Mai Thailand
Traditionally, krathongs were designed from banana trunk pieces to ensure buoyancy. Modern krathongs, however, are made from either bread or modified plastic (although the latter is discouraged due to water and environmental pollution). The event’s highlight is the inclusion of candles in the krathongs so that the floating baskets create a fantastic array of lights that give Loy Krathong the name ‘festival of lights’.
Locals and visitors alike are enthralled by the sheer delight of setting the baskets afloat, which is done as you make a wish. Some individuals toss a coin to appease the river spirits and bring good luck their way. Watching the krathongs float away is an exciting experience, especially for first-time visitors. The sight of thousands of lights, drifting away and the gentle breeze causing the flames to flicker in the calm of the night is a breathtaking experience.
To best enjoy Chiang Mai Loy Krathong, head anywhere along the moat where people are letting off lanterns. The biggest crowds gather along Tha Phae Road on the night of the full moon with the biggest crows along the Ping River between Nawarat Bridge and Iron Bridge. Make sure to buy your lantern in advance, as they sell out. You may be hard-pressed to find a vendor selling them on the street. If you find lanterns for sale on the evening of Loy Krathong, they may be at wildly inflated prices, so it is best to purchase them in advance.