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Loy Krathong is an annual Siamese festival celebrated to pay respect to and thank the Goddess of Water for the rain. During the festival, people gather around lakes, rivers, or canals to release decorated lotus-shaped rafts called “krathongs”.
See the fact file below for more information on the Loy Krathong or alternatively, you can download our 29-page Loy Krathong worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Loy Krathong, also called Thailand’s Festival of Lights, can be translated as “to float a basket, ritual vessel, or lamp”.
- The festival originated in the city of Sukhothai and is usually celebrated in Thailand and in nearby countries with Southwestern Thai cultures.
- It is observed during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar which marks the end of the rainy season.
- As well as thanking the water Goddess, Mae Khongkha, for the rain, believers ask for forgiveness for contamination and waste of the waterways.
- Krathongs, which means “basket or boat”, are released on the waters during the festival.
- They are usually made of banana leaves and flowers with 3 sticks of burning incense and lit candles as centerpieces.
- Some also include hair and money on their krathongs.
- The most colorful and lively places to visit and celebrate the festival are Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Sukhothai.
- The history of Loy Krathong is believed to have started with a court lady named Nang Nopphamat in the Sukhothai Kingdom.
- In the mid-13th century, Nopphamat lived under the reign of King Sri Indraditya and it was believed that she was the first person to have released a decorated boat in the water.
- However, it was said that this story was only fiction, created in 1850 by King Nangklao (Rama III).
- In the novel, the character of Nopphamat was said to inspire and guide women who aspired to be civil servants.
- The beauty contests held during the celebration are called “Nophammat Queen Contests”.
- According to King Mongkut (Rama IV), the festival used to be celebrated in ancient India by the Brahmins.
- It was adapted by Thai Buddhists to their country to honor Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama.
- Loy Krathong is also believed to have originated from Angkor.
- Inside the temple at Bayon built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII are carved scenes of Loy Krathong.
- The carved figures show a queen in a boat preparing to float the Krathong and also six concubines holding krathongs.
- It has been recently accepted that the festival is a combination of three significant cultural festivals, namely the Bondet Bratib of Khmer Empire, Water Lantern of China, and Kartik Purnima of Odisha in India.
Popular Places for Loy Krathong Celebrations
- The main celebration of Loy Krathong in Bangkok is usually in Asiatique at the riverfront night market.
- Activities include music and dance storytelling of Loy Krathong, fireworks displays, the launch of krathongs, and an illuminated float procession.
- The area is usually crowded and there are long lines on shuttles going there.
Parks and Temples
- For friends, families, and even lovers, several ponds and waterways located in the public parks have become attractions to launch krathongs.
- Lumpini Park, Benjasiri, and Benjakitti Park are among the most famous of these.
- Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Rakhang, Wat Kalaya, and Wat Prayoon are among the temples that can also be visited.
- Some famous riverside hotels that offer Loy Krathong events with dinner and fireworks include Anantara Riverside Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, and Shangri La Hotel Bangkok.
Chao Phraya River
- The piers of Chao Phraya River offer different activities where people can participate.
- Chiang Mai is said to be the best and most popular place to celebrate and experience Loy Krathong.
- In Chiang Mai, the celebration usually lasts for three days.
- On the same day, they also celebrate Yi Peng Festival or Thailand’s Sky Lantern Festival.
- As Loy Krathong’s birthplace, Sukhothai is also considered one of the best places to celebrate the festival.
- Most festival events are held in Sukhothai Historical Park.
- The celebration in Sukhothai usually lasts for five days.
- Beauty contests, parades, musical performances, and Sukhoi light and sound shows are usually the attractions that can be seen here.
- The celebration of Loy Krathong in Phuket is more relaxed than in the cities.
- This place is perfect for travelers who want to experience the festival with fewer crowds.
- Among the beaches that can be visited are Patong Beach and Nai Harn Beach.
- Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Saphan Hin Park, or Suan Luang Park in Phuket Town also offer a more local experience of the festival.
Yi Peng Festival
- Along with the Loy Krathong festival, Yi Peng is also celebrated on this day.
- Yi Peng symbolizes letting go of misfortunes and earning merit.
- The celebration includes the launching of sky lanterns called Khom Loi.
- Although celebrated on the same day, the two festivals are different.
- Although both Yi Peng and Loy Krathong festivals offer fun and new hope to people, their aftermath is said to be harmful to the environment.
- Lanterns released during Yi Peng are prone to catching fire.
- One of the biggest challenges after the celebration of Loy Krathong is water pollution.
- Despite the use of plant parts for krathongs, some are still made of plastic and styrofoam.
- The local authorities must clean the bodies of water as there are floating krathongs that clog the waterways which may harm animals.
- People are now encouraged to make environmentally friendly materials when making the krathong.
- Lastly, the festivals may bring too much litter such as food wastes and plastics which are not recyclable.
Loy Krathong Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about the Loy Krathong across 29 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching about the Loy Krathong where people of Thailand gather around lakes, rivers, or canals to release decorated lotus-shaped rafts called “krathongs”.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Loy Krathong Facts
- You Are Invited
- Make a Choice
- Complete This
- Which One?
- What Part?
- Sing It!
- Let’s Go!
- Make a Wish
Frequently Asked Questions
What is unique about Loy Krathong?
On the particular evening of Loy Krathong, people come together near lakes, rivers, and canals. They make pretty rafts out of lotus flowers and decorate them with candles, incense sticks, and flowers. It is a lovely sight to see, and it is something that you will always remember if you are in Bangkok when it happens.
What does Loy Krathong stand for?
Loy Krathong is a famous festival in Thailand that is known for being beautiful and mysterious. The word “Loy” means “float,” while “Krathongs” are small rafts or containers made from banana leaves or tree bark. They often include a candle, incense sticks, and flowers. No wonder this event has been so enchanting for years!
Who created Loy Krathong?
Traceable back to the 14th century, Loy Krathong began in the ancient Sukhothai kingdom. Legend says that a woman named Nang Noppamas created and presented the first decorated Krathong as an offering for her King of Sukhothai. This famous story has been passed down through generations ever since!
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Link will appear as Loy Krathong Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 26, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.