Floating dreams of the Loy Krathong Festival

Storytelling Thailand

It’s a full moon night, the first of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar. In a soft light of November, the rainy season ends, and starts the beginning of the cool season. The event was eagerly awaited, and the festive city was adorned with a thousand fires to celebrate it. While the preparations for Loy Krathong Festival were spread out over several days, it’s tonight that we feel the impatience of the inhabitants to its paroxysm. Reaching the quarters of the center is quite tough since the place is so packed, and you need to clear a passage near the river. In the streets, food stalls are in abundance, delicious smells of grilled meat and exotic fruits whet all appetites on every street corner. Soon, dances and music take the whole streets. The parades and fireworks burst into bouquets.

For Loy Krathong, Chiang Mai becomes the scene of one of the most beautiful festivals in the country …

Chiang Mai - Loy Kratong Festival


The first wishes are already flying in the sky … the first offerings of light for Mae Khongkha.

The goddess of the water takes a primordial place in the life of the Thai: if she is thanked for the water of past harvests, she is still asked tonight to bring luck and happiness to the inhabitants.

Soon, the rivers are flooded with krathongs. Like ants running on the grass, the rafts in the form of a lotus flower drift one by one in single file on the water, taking with them incense and candles in their heart. Sometimes, some slip a coin in the basket to add good fortune to their prayer wishes, before making them gently sail away. 

Chiang Mai - Loy Kratong Festival


The dark night now embraces an asphyxiated sky of light: thousands of ascending lanterns fueled with wax paper invade the sky, and are as many prayers for the future of the Thais as signs of purification for their spirits. It’s a time to give up their grudge, anger and bad feelings, and make their hopes of forgiveness fly, while they exorcise their faults. Under a sky covered with flickering stars made of rice paper, visitors want to be an integral part of the festival and go around the illuminated temples to burn, one, two, three lanterns as well… 

On the shores of Chao Phraya, all these ephemeral flickers have a romantic twist.


Chiang Mai - Loy Kratong Festival


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11 March 2018

11 March 2018

  1. Reply

    Jos Grims & Martien

    10 July 2018

    Hi Nam & Nico,
    just watched another great video of Thailand, so amusing and professional, We love it !
    Also read your article about LGBT tolerance in Thailand, very interesting and a lot of research on this topic.
    Thanks for sharing !
    It’s still a major issue in too many countries, cultures and religions. Even here in our country ( NL ) one sees people from different countries seeking freedom here but have problems accepting LGBT people. So sad !
    There is a lot of work to be done worldwide !
    Bye for now,
    Best Regards
    Jos & Martien