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Thailand is a land of enchanting and exotic tastes. Experience the Water Festival of Loi Kathong on the island of Ko Chang. It is simply mesmerizing. Thailand has a tropical climate with year round high temperatures and high humidity.
Ko Lipe Beach Southern Thailand
The rainy season lasts from June till October. Thailand covers an area of 513,115 sq. km. The capital is Bangkok and has a population of about 67 million. Thai is the official language but English and Chinese are spoken. The currency is the Thai baht. 1 baht = 100 stangs
Population Up to 80 per cent of the population lives in the countryside. It consists of 80 percent Thais with smaller groups of Chinese, Indians and Malays, and some mountain people. Roughly 95 per cent of the Thai people follow the Buddhist faith.
Ko Chang The island of Ko Chang, located close to the border with Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. Ko Chang is a heavily forested island with little towns full of beach huts. This is what I was after. I had heard of full moon festivals in Thailand. For hard partying tourists, this was apparently the night the big beach parties happened. In Ko Chang, it was a little different as the night was tailored to the actual Thais, not tourist.
Water And Light Festivals
The Loi Kathong Festival happens every full moon. Offerings are given to appease the water spirits. These offerings come in the form of banana leaf bowls with flowers, fruit, candles and incense.
The candles and incense are lit and everyone heads down the beach and starts putting them in the water. It is one of the more amazing light shows you will ever see and beats Las Vegas hands down. Thousands, and I mean thousands, of little lights bobbing on the surface of the smooth ocean.
After the bowls comes one of the most visually amazing things. Everyone is familiar with the paper lanterns used in Asia. Typically, they come in the form of a rectangle form with a bamboo or light wire frame. Very popular with college students since they are cheap and look better than a bare light bulb.
For the festival, Thais would take these paper lanterns and close off the top. They would then affix a small paper plate to the bottom with a candle on it.
Light the candle, wait for the heat to do its work and they had an instant hot air balloon. Once the lanterns could float, you simply let go and off they slowly went over the ocean. It was a sight to see as there were thousands of them floating over the water.
As the festival wound down, the ocean had been transformed. The air was full of gracefully floating lanterns while the water itself was dotted with slowly bobbing points of light. If you intend to travel to Thailand, make sure you schedule your trip around a full moon. It is a scene you’ll never forget.
Can you swim in the water in Thailand?
The clear warm waters are enticing, and are pretty safe for most of the year. The sea does contain dangerous creatures, such as sea snakes, lionfish, stonefish and jellyfish. However, it's only really jellyfish that could concern swimmers, and these are not much of a problem on Thailand's Andaman coast.
When was Water Festival created?
In November, Cambodia erupts into one of the biggest celebrations of the year with Bon Om Touk, known as the Cambodian Water Festival. It has been celebrated since as early as the 13th century, marks the end of Cambodia's rainy season.
Who created the Water Festival?
A Rich History:
Believe it or not, this tradition dates back to the 12th century, during the reign of Angkorian King Jayavarman VII. Back then, the King's Navy played a vital role in kicking off the fishing season, ensuring bountiful rice and fish harvests in the coming year.
What is the origin of the Water Festival?
Thingyan Festival – The Traditional Water Festival in Myanmar
The history of the Thingyan Water Festival in Myanmar dating back from a very long time ago originated from the Buddhist version of a Hindu myth. Thingyan, in the Sanskrit language (the language of ancient India), means “transit of the Sun from Pisces to Aries”.
Why is the water festival celebrated?
The festival is celebrated over the span of three days and commemorates the end of the rainy season, as well as the change in flow of the Tonlé Sap River.
What is the history of Thai Water Festival?
The Khmers originally celebrated the Songkran festival. The name “Songkran” emerged from the Sanskrit word for “washing” or “cleaning.” The Khmers believed that bathing would purify the soul and allow them to return to their homeland, Cambodia. Today, the Songkran water festival is a national holiday in Thailand.
Why is the water green in Thailand?
Severe plankton bloom off Thailand creates marine 'dead zone.
Marine scientists say some areas in the Gulf of Thailand have more than 10 times the normal amount of plankton, turning the water a bright green and killing off marine life.
What is the Thai Water Festival called?
The Songkran Water Festival is held annually by the locals in celebration of the Thai New Year. The national holiday of Songkran is officially on the 13th of April each year, but the celebrations last for 3 days from April 13 to 15, happening all across Thailand.
Why is water so important to Thai culture?
As a nation, Thailand grew along the banks of its mighty rivers. For centuries, the kingdom's waterways have provided the Thai people with their staple foods of rice and fish, fuelled by the abundant monsoon rains that have made the land fertile.
What flowers are used in Loy Krathong?
Lotus, Rose, Orchid, Marigold, and Globe Amaranth are the most common/traditional flowers used for the ornamentation, but you can use whichever kinds of flowers you like to garnish your Krathong.
What is Loy Krathong for kids?
Traditionally, Thais celebrate Loy Krathong (“loy” means “to float” and “krathong” is the thing you float) by taking a section of a banana tree trunk, decorating it with flowers and candles and floating it down the river to simultaneously honor the Buddha (venerating him with the candle), let go of one's grudges.
Why do people float krathong on water?
Is Loy Krathong a ritual?
Some say the festival is rooted in ancient Hindu ritual, while many feel it honours the magical naga serpents that are so pivotal to countless Southeast Asian legends. An especially popular belief holds that Loy Krathong is a form of devotion to Phra Mae Kongka, the Thai version of Ganga, Hindu goddess of water.
Why is Loy Krathong celebrated?
What is Loy Krathong? The history behind the festival is complex, and Thais celebrate it for many reasons. As the main rice harvest season ends, it's time to thank the Water Goddess for a year's worth of her abundant supply, as well as an apology for polluting the waters.
How many days do we celebrate Loy Krathong?
Loy Krathong in Sukhothai is celebrated for five days. In addition to magical floating lights, there are beauty contests, parades, folk music performances, and light and sound shows. Nearly all the festivities take place in Sukhothai Historical Park (the old city).
Who is the water goddess in Loy Krathong?
Loy Krathong: How Thailand Pays Tribute to the Water Goddess
Millions of candlelit krathong - decorative vessels burning bright with prayers, hopes and dreams - are set afloat on waterways to honour and give thanks to the water goddess, Phra Mae Khongkha. This magical spectacle is observed on the full moon of the 12th month on the lunar calendar, which usually falls in November.
What is Loi Krathong festival also called?
In Thailand, the festival is known as Loi Krathong. Outside Thailand, this festival is celebrated under different names, including Myanmar as the "Tazaungdaing festival", Sri Lanka as "Il Full Moon Poya", China as "Lantern Festival" and Cambodia as Bon Om Touk".
Where does the Loy Krathong festival take place?
Chiang Mai is the place to be for Loi Krathong (loy kra-tong). Although the Lantern Festival is celebrated everywhere in Thailand, Chiang Mai will have the best (and most famous) views of thousands of lanterns being released into the sky all at once.
What is Loy Krathong festival all about?
Loy Krathong originated from an old Brahmin festival that paid respects to the water spirits. The festival was adapted in Thailand to also show respect to Buddha. The word 'krathong' refers to a small vessel or basket and 'loy' means to float.
Loy Krathong Festival is an annual traditional Siamese festival celebrated by Thais to pay respect to the Goddess of Water and the Buddha. It is not a public holiday but is celebrated nationwide when people gather around lakes, rivers, and canals to release floating lanterns or Krathongs on waterways.