LONDON, England – The annual International Lantern Festival held in Hat Yai, Thailand, locally referred to as the ‘Colours of the South’ festival, regularly attracts thousands of tourists to the southern tip of Thailand- more specifically the city of Hat Yai-each year. The festival is internationally recognised by the lighting of decorative lanterns, which illuminate the night sky and nearby river during ritual ceremonies held each evening.
In tradition of Loi Krathrog, an ancient festival celebrating the rise of the last full moon of the year (according to the Thai Lunar Calendar), hundreds of luminous lanterns are lit and then freed skywards or placed along the local river every night. The ritual gives visitors the chance to pay their respects to ‘river spirits’ and takes place throughout the whole duration of the festival.
As well as colourful lantern displays, visitors to the city will also be treated to regular firework shows and beauty pageants- a popular form of entertainment in Thailand.