Simply described, Loy Krathong is the Thai name given to a lovely traditional festival in which a slice of banana trunk is decorated with flowers, banana leaves, candle and incense sticks and floated out to any piece of water nearby. It happens every year on the full-moon of the 12th lunar month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.
Believed to have originated in the 13th century in the ancient capital, Sukhothai, the roots are Brahmanical that have been adjusted by Thai Buddhism to honour the Lord Buddha.
The purpose of participating in Loy Krathong is to pay respects to Lord Buddha and to ask for forgiveness from Phra Mae Khongkha the Goddess of Water. The translation of Loy is to float and the word krathong is a raft or basket. These delicate krathong are generally hand made crating individual words of art from the simplest of material. Today an emphasis is on the traditional way of making them with natural products that will not pollute. However, many canals and small rivers often are blocked by the endless streams of krathongs.
The person or family floating the krathong is asking the Goddess of Water to carry away accumulated bad luck and provide a fresh, unblemished start.
Tonight will see hundreds of thousands of Thais making their way to ponds, lakes, rivers and the sea throughout the country.