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One Of Thailand's Oldest & Best-Preserved Traditions


Loi Krathong - Festival of Lights

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By eTN Staff Writer | Oct 02, 2009
Loi Krathong - Festival of Lights
Image via thailandlandofsmiles.com

As the full moon of the twelfth lunar month (usually in mid-November) lights up the night sky, throughout the Thai kingdom, hundreds of thousands of ornately-decorated krathong or traditional banana leaf floats are set adrift in rivers and waterways in a spell-binding ritual called "Loi Krathong" - the "Festival of Lights." This is one of the kingdom's oldest and best-preserved traditions.

The Loi Krathong tradition we know of today has evolved from the royal rituals of the early Rattanakosin period in which several types of lanterns were set afloat in the Chao Phraya River and its waterways.

During the Loi Krathong Sai on the Ping River "Night of A Thousand Floating Lanterns" in Tak province, the banana-leaf floats are replaced by coconut shells, which are threaded together and launched simultaneously so they appear as long chains of hundreds of glittering lights on the Ping River, hence the origin of its name, "Loi Krathong Sai."

YI-PENG FESTIVAL IN NORTHERN THAILAND

In the northern Thai provinces that were once part of the ancient Lanna Thai kingdom, the Yi-peng Northern Lantern Festival is still being celebrated. Tubular lanterns, resembling hot air balloons, are lit and released into the night sky as an offering to the Lord Buddha. As hundreds of illuminated lanterns drift into infinity, this conjures the same sense of wistful closure as the krathong float downstream.

Contact information: TAT Call Centre: 1672, or TAT Event Planning Division
Tel: +66 (0) 250 5500 Ext 3495-3499. For detailed information, please log on to: http://www.thailandgrandfestival.com/festival.asp?festID=821

RICE BARGE CRUISES TO AYUTTHAYA AND UTHAI THANI

For most travelers, the Chao Phraya provides a short interlude on a city tour to a floating market or a transfer from hotel to the famous Temple of the Dawn. It doesn't need to end there. For the traveler ready to explore its course and tributaries north of the capital, this majestic "River of Kings" offers fascinating insights into Thai rural lifestyle, moving with the times but still entwined with the river.
For detailed information, please log on to:
http://www.tatnews.org/emagazine/2288.asp

THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL COMPETITION

The Tourism Authority of Thailand invites travelers from around the world to apply to become contestants in the Ultimate Thailand Explorers competition. The participants are required to share their daily experiences with a global audience by posting photos, videos, blogs, and travel stories with social media tools. Participating teams and registered voters are eligible for more than US$25,000 in cash, travel awards, and other fantastic prizes.
For detailed information, please log on to:
http://www.ultimatethailandexplorers.com/

10TH ANNUAL WORLD GOURMET FESTIVAL

The 10th Annual World Gourmet Festival at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, in association with Travel + Leisure South East Asia, will take place on October 5-11, 2009 and promises to be the biggest and best yet. Several food festivals are hosted throughout the world; however, the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is the only hotel to bring award-winning Master Chefs under one roof for a week-long celebration of outstanding food and superb wines. They will also share tips and information on how to create award-winning cuisine.
For detailed information, please log on to: http://tatnews.org/events/events/2009/oct/4480.asp

The Loi Krathong festivities will be held from October 29 - November 2, 2009, nationwide. Event dates and program details may be subject to change. To ensure you have the most updated information, please reconfirm details prior to travel.



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