This year, Loy Krathong festival, will take place at the end of November (27-28th November, 2023), and Chiang Mai remains one of the most magical cities to enjoy this event.
In Thai language, the word Loy means “to float”. Those giving thanks to the goddess, light the candle, make a wish and launch their krathong, believing it will carry away sins and bad luck. Originally, the krathong for this full moon festival were made from banana leaves; now you can also find some made of bread, which will feed the fishes. If you happen to find beautiful floats made of foam, please do not buy them; let’s be good to our earth and mother-water!
Loy Krathong festival is celebrated across Thailand at a time when the water levels are the highest after the rainy season. And Chiang Mai city offers double the festival fun as Loy Krathong blends into the local Yee Peng revelry which, involves a ritual of launching hot-air balloons into the sky. For balloon launching, please check with your hotel’s reception to know where and when are the small hot air balloon launchings going to be organized.
Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is also the festival of beautiful parades. On the nights of 28th November, giant illuminated Krathongs are paraded with candidates for the upcoming beauty contest perched on top. These parades go from Phra Singh temple to the Governor’s House next to Nawarat Bridge, passing through Thapae Gate (starting time around 6pm). Othrer days, the place to go in town will be on Thapae bridge and any other place close to the river. A more sedate and spiritual venue can be found at the temple Wat Chai Mongkol (see city map H5), which is south of the bridge along Chareonprathet road. The temple has its own concrete landing on the river, where devotees can launch their krathongs.
Romantic sights, lights on the river and on the city walls... Loy Krathong is a time for happiness together and wishes of love and success.