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 …
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.
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.
Check also our other posts about Thailand:
- the portfolio of Chinatown by night during the amazing World Street Food 2017,
- the portfolio of our must-see temples in Bangkok,
- the full video of our three weeks trip in Thailand.