Loy Krathong in Phuket

Loy Krathong or the ‘festival of light’ is celebrated on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month. This is when the tide in the rivers is highest and the moon at its brightest, creating a romantic setting ideal for lovers.

Thousands of people will gather on the beach, near rivers or lakes and many Thai woman will dress in traditional clothing, which makes Loy Krathong one of the most picturesque and beautiful of all Thai celebrations.

The more popular areas offer activities for all the family including food stalls, live music and fancy fairs. Miss Loy Krathong competitions are also organised.

‘Loy’ literally means ‘to float,’ while ‘krathong’ refers to the lotus-shaped receptacle which can float on the water.

It is made from banana stem and decorated with flowers, candles, coins, incense and so on. Some people also add a snip of hair and fingernail cuttings.

Candles are lit just before the krathong is released on the water. It will take away bad luck and The Mother Of Water gives forgiveness for using and polluting the water. Legend has it that if the candles still burn when the krathong floats out of sight, the couples love will last forever.

Another way to let all your misfortunes disappear into the night is to light a ‘khom loy’ or ‘floating lantern’ and release it into the sky.

Popular (and usually crowded) areas to celebrate Loy Krathong in Phuket include:
• Patong Beach
• Karon Beach (near the lake)
• Saphan Hin (Phuket City)
• Bangwat Dam (Kathu)

Loy Krathong varies each year depending on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month.