Peggy Reichert

Written by Peggy Reichert

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Krathong Festival is a vibrant and enchanting event that holds significant cultural and spiritual importance in Thailand. This annual celebration, also known as the Lantern Festival, is held on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar, usually falling in November. During the festival, thousands of intricately crafted and beautifully decorated floating lanterns, known as krathongs, are released onto rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water.

The festival symbolizes the act of letting go of negative emotions and bringing good luck and prosperity for the coming year. It is a time of joyful festivities, as people come together to make their wishes, offer gratitude to the Water Goddess, and honor their ancestors. With its rich traditions, mesmerizing lights, and joyful atmosphere, the Krathong Festival is a truly enchanting experience that captures the essence of Thai culture and spirituality.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Krathong Festival is a traditional Thai celebration that honors water spirits and marks the end of the rainy season. It features floating krathongs, magical lantern processions, and delicious Thai cuisine.
  • The festival promotes environmental awareness by using biodegradable materials for krathongs and cleaning up water bodies. It also showcases traditional Thai music, dance, and vibrant cultural heritage.
Table of Contents

The Origins of Krathong Festival

The Krathong Festival, also known as Loy Krathong, is a traditional Thai festival celebrated on the evening of the full moon of the 12th lunar month. It is a time when people gather near rivers, canals, and lakes to pay homage to the water spirits. The festival has its roots in ancient Brahmanic traditions and is believed to have originated in the Sukhothai Kingdom more than 700 years ago.

The Significance of the Floating Krathongs

One of the highlights of the Krathong Festival is the floating of beautifully decorated krathongs on water bodies. These krathongs are often made from natural materials such as banana tree trunks, leaves, and flowers, and are adorned with candles, incense, and small offerings. Floating the krathongs symbolizes letting go of negative emotions and paying respect to the water deities.

A Celebration of the Thai Lunar Calendar

The Krathong Festival marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the Thai lunar calendar. It is seen as a time of gratitude for the abundance of water and a way to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. The festival also serves as an opportunity for locals and tourists alike to experience the rich cultural heritage of Thailand.

Magical Lantern Procession

During the Krathong Festival, there is often a grand procession featuring intricately designed lanterns. These lanterns are crafted with vibrant colors and depict various mythical creatures and symbols. The procession creates a magical atmosphere as it winds its way through the streets, illuminating the night sky.

The Beauty of Fireworks Displays

No celebration in Thailand is complete without fireworks, and the Krathong Festival is no exception. Spectacular fireworks displays light up the night sky, adding an extra touch of enchantment and excitement to the festivities. The colorful explosions fill the air with awe and wonder, captivating spectators of all ages.

Traditional Thai Music and Dance Performances

The Krathong Festival is renowned for its traditional Thai music and dance performances. Local artists showcase their talent through graceful dances and melodious tunes. Vibrant costumes, intricate choreography, and rhythmic beats create an immersive experience that truly captures the essence of Thai culture.

Delicious Thai Cuisine

The Krathong Festival offers a feast for the senses, including the tantalizing aroma and flavors of Thai cuisine. Street food stalls are set up, offering a wide array of delectable dishes like pad Thai, green curry, and mango sticky rice. Visitors can savor these authentic flavors while immersing themselves in the festive ambiance.

A Symbol of Environmental Awareness

In recent years, the Krathong Festival has undergone a transformation to promote eco-friendly practices. Many organizations encourage the use of biodegradable materials for the krathongs, reducing the environmental impact. Additionally, efforts are made to clean up the water bodies after the festival, ensuring the preservation of the natural habitats.

These 8 Facts About Krathong Festival showcase the cultural significance and enchanting traditions of this revered Thai celebration. Experience the beauty of floating krathongs, mesmerizing lantern processions, and the vibrancy of Thai music and dance. Immerse yourself in the flavors of traditional cuisine and join in the environmental awareness initiatives. The Krathong Festival offers a unique and unforgettable experience that captures the heart and soul of Thailand.


In conclusion, the Krathong Festival is a fascinating and vibrant celebration that holds deep cultural significance in Thailand. From the breathtaking sight of thousands of illuminated floats floating down the rivers, to the vibrant fireworks displays and traditional performances, this festival truly captures the essence of Thai culture and spirituality. Whether you are a local or a visitor, participating in the Krathong Festival is an unforgettable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the rich traditions and customs of Thailand. So, mark your calendars and get ready to be captivated by the beauty and enchantment of the Krathong Festival!


Q: What is the Krathong Festival?

A: The Krathong Festival is a traditional Thai festival held annually to pay homage to the water goddess, Mae Khongkha. Participants make small floating vessels, called krathongs, out of banana leaves and decorate them with flowers and candles. These krathongs are then set afloat on rivers or canals, symbolizing the release of negativity and making wishes for the future.

Q: When is the Krathong Festival celebrated?

A: The Krathong Festival is typically celebrated on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, which usually falls in November. However, the exact date may vary each year, so it is advisable to check the local calendar or consult with the locals to determine the specific date of the festival.

Q: Where is the Krathong Festival celebrated?

A: The Krathong Festival is celebrated nationwide in Thailand. However, the most spectacular celebrations can be witnessed in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Sukhothai, where elaborate parades, firework displays, and cultural performances take place.

Q: What are some traditional activities during the Krathong Festival?

A: Apart from floating krathongs on the water, the Krathong Festival also includes a range of traditional activities. These may include attending traditional dance and music performances, participating in candle-lit processions, releasing sky lanterns, enjoying fireworks displays, and indulging in traditional Thai cuisine.

Q: Can tourists participate in the Krathong Festival?

A: Absolutely! The Krathong Festival is open to everyone, including tourists. It is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in Thai culture, witness the vibrant celebrations, and participate in the traditional rituals. Just make sure to respect the customs and traditions of the festival while enjoying the festivities.

Q: Is the Krathong Festival environmentally friendly?

A: Over the years, there have been concerns about the environmental impact of the Krathong Festival due to the materials used in creating the krathongs, such as Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable items. However, efforts have been made to promote eco-friendly alternatives, such as using natural materials like banana leaves and flower petals. It is highly encouraged to opt for these eco-friendly options to reduce the environmental impact of the festival.

Q: Are there any dress code requirements for attending the Krathong Festival?

A: There is no specific dress code for attending the Krathong Festival. However, it is recommended to dress modestly and respectfully, particularly if visiting temples or participating in religious ceremonies associated with the festival. Wearing comfortable clothing and shoes is also advisable, as there may be large crowds and outdoor activities involved.

Q: Are there any safety precautions to consider during the Krathong Festival?

A: While the Krathong Festival is a joyous occasion, it is important to prioritize safety. Avoid placing lit candles too close to flammable materials, keep an eye on children near the water, and follow any instructions or guidelines provided by event organizers. It is also advisable to be mindful of personal belongings in crowded areas and take necessary precautions to prevent accidents or theft.

Krathong Festival's enchanting traditions captivate attendees, but Thailand boasts even more mesmerizing celebrations. Witness the breathtaking beauty of floating lanterns at Yi Peng, a festival steeped in ancient customs. For those seeking vibrant cultural celebrations closer to home, Stamford, Connecticut, hosts an array of exciting events showcasing diverse traditions. And if you're looking to make a splash, join the exhilarating fun at Songkran Water Festival, where revelers take to the streets for lively water fights and joyous festivities.

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