If you happen to be in Pattaya during the Loy Krathong festival then you are in for a treat, the date changes each year depending in which part of Pattaya you are in but it is normally in the first part of November.
What Is Loy Krathong
Loy Krathong traces its origins to the Indian Hindu festival of Dipawali which is a thanksgiving made to the River Ganges. But in Thailand the Buddhists monks adapted the festival to specifically honour Lord Buddha, and originally the Krathong is floated in the water as a sign of respect.
But as in many cases of festivals and their origins, things are slightly confused. The small raft has also been designated as a vessel that carries away the sins and grievances of the person who floats it. A great deal of people attach personal items such as hair, fingernails or tokens as a part from their former self.
Another purpose of the raft has been said as a way to give thanks to Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water, this too is meant to bring good luck and fortune.
Today a mixture of rafts and lanterns are used to illuminate the night and bring good luck to their owners.
The Best Places To Go
Traditionally the little crafts were placed on slow moving water such as small rivers, where you could see your good luck charm bobbing off in the distance. Nowadays, any water is used and in Pattaya there is an abundance of it.
The best places to go in Pattaya to celebrate Loy Krathong is down by the sea, Pattaya, Jomtien, Cosy and Wongamat beaches are all ideal. Many families can be seen making their way to the waters carrying their Krathong’s together with an assortment of food and drink to enjoy their evening.
As the twilight comes the brightly lit little crafts are a joy to be seen heading out into the Gulf of Thailand on their journeys of fortune, and the skies are adorned with illuminated lanterns as far as the eye can see.
In some places Loy Krathong has sparked off the new tradition of beauty pageants, and many contestants flock to attend Noppamas Queen Contests, as the legend tells the story of Nang Nopamas, who was known as the royal consort of King Ramkhamhaeng (the founder of Sukthothai).
Apparently she was the first person to actually float a Krathong, and decorated it so beautifully that when it floated passed the king he was in awe. The episode gave rise to a belief that if two lovers float a Krathong on water and it continues to float for so long as it can be seen, then the love between them should last for ever.
Loy Krathong is a traditional Thai festival and is a marvellous occasion for visitors to see real Thai culture. If you are looking for great events to visit whilst in Pattaya, make sure you read the Pattaya Events blog pages as we update them on a regular basis.