Loy-Krathong-Festival

Loy Krathong Festival

The Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most beautiful and charming and at the same time most popular festivals celebrated in Thailand.

Loy Krathong FestivalIn the full moon night of the 12th Lunar month the rivers and streams throughout the kingdom are magical transformed into amazing light gardens. Once it gets dark, thousands of festively dressed Thais gather on the river banks.

With a slight push lotus-shaped boats of banana and palm leaves, called Krathongs, are set into the water and sent on their journey. They are richly decorated with flowers and filled with incense, candles, coins, thai food and personal gifts (eg, finger nail, hair), that people sent of with the Krathongs. Especially rivers in the cities then offer a charming picture, as thousands of bright boats sail past and plunge the whole scene into a fabulous light.

In its origins, the festival goes back to ancient animist and Hindu beliefs. After the monsoon rains from June to October the rivers are always agitated and threaten with their dirty brown waters the lives and possessions of rice farmers and others. To prevent flooding, but also in gratitude for the rain, which promises a good rice harvest, sacrifices have to be made since ancient times.

Different water spirits, the goddess of water herself Mae Khongkha and the rice goddess Mea Bhosop have to be appeased. At the same time the people ask the gods forgiveness for all the constant pollution and abuse of the waterbodies.

This century-long tradition has developed into the Loy Krathong festival that we know and celebrate today, the Thai festival of lights. Entwined with the emergence of a popular festival like Loy Krathong are colorful myths and legends. Even today it is celebrated by Thais with great enthusiasm.

Couples entrust their Krathongs the most secret desires and swear eternal love. Others consider it more to be a carrier of all their sins, floating down the rivers into the vast ocean. As long as possible the eye follows the dancing lights on the glistening water, for an old Thai proverb says, the longer you can see the candle light, the happier the next year will be.

Some Krathongs survive not for long because little boys are hunting down the coins on them, but nobody seems to be angry about it. For the people it is quite enough that with their donation they have done a good deed, whether for the small spirits of this world or the hereafter, so that according to Buddhist belief this deed will be useful and rewarded in their next life.

Loy Krathong Festival 2019 – 13.November

 

Q: What’s the difference between Loy Krathong and Yi Peng?

A: Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are two similar but actually different festivals. First, their most important difference is perhaps where they’re celebrated. Yi Peng is only celebrated in the north of Thailand, and its most elaborate celebrations take place in Chiang Mai. Loy Krathong, however, is observed all over the country. The second difference is the lanterns that are used and how they’re floated. For Loy Krathong, floats made out of banana trees, bread or Styrofoam are set off in water. But for Yi Peng, lanterns are made of bamboo, and fuel cells. They are launched to the sky rather than the water.

Q: How can I get a krathong?

A: It’s easy. You can buy one. You can find them at the street vendors, or if you are a guest of a hotel, it surely can offer you one. Another way to get a krathong is make one yourself. During the festival, most hotels in Thailand offer their guests chances to make krathong themselves.

Q: How do I float a krathong?

A: After you have your own Krathong, head to the water source – most likely rivers, ponds, lakes or even pools! Then light up the candle and incenses, make a wish and let it go!

Q: Do I need tickets for the Yi Peng festival?

A: The festival takes places in various parts of Chiang Mai and is free for all. Traditionally, there are two major lantern releases each year: a paid event in English and the free public event for locals.
The paid event is not run by the government like the rest of the festival and is usually held before or after the actual festival. Tickets cost 100 THB per person, and it takes place outside the city center. The benefit is that there are no crowds and there are explanations of the event in English.

 

Hotels Khao Lak: Popularity (13.11-14.11)

Hotel Stars Rating Price per night, from Choose dates

Khaolak Traveller Lodge

★★

9.4

14

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Moracea by Khao Lak Resort

★★★★★

9.1

158

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La Vela Khao Lak

★★★★

9.3

142

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Ruk Cozy

★★

9.2

26

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Khaolak Paradise Resort

★★★★

9.4

175

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Khaolak Golden Place

★★★

8.9

33

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X10 Khaolak Resort

★★★★★

9.2

152

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The Waters Khao Lak by Katathani

★★★★

9.1

100

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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa

★★★★★

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268

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Khaolak Merlin Resort

★★★★★

9.2

167

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Sensimar Khaolak Beachfront Resort

★★★★

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123

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Nautical Home Khaolak

★★

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35

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Khaolak Bayfront Resort

★★★

9

79

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Khaolak Bhandari Resort & Spa

★★★★

8.9

92

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Ocean Breeze Resort Khaolak

★★★★

8.9

118

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Briza Beach Resort, Khaolak

★★★★

8.6

90

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X2 Khao Lak Anda Mani Resort

★★★★★

9.3

118

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The Leaf on The Sands by Katathani

★★★★

8.7

64

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Khaolak Laguna Resort

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9

145

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Khaolak Blue Lagoon Resort

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thai-food

Why Thai Food Is So Uniquely Thai

Thai food is world renown for it’s diversity, excellence and flavor…not to mention it’s spiciness.

What many people do not know is that Thai food has not always been this way.

Prior to the 16th century the food of the common people and royalty in old Siam consisted primarily of plain rice, fish and fresh vegetables. So what is it that caused such a flavor explosion in Thai food?

Throughout most of Thailand’s history the Thai people had eaten their indigenous fruits and vegetables such as bananas, taro, sugar palm, mango and Thai oranges. There were no domesticated animals up to the 17th century, even though the pig had been domesticated in western Asia sometime around 6000 BC so any meats came from wild animals, fish and shellfish.

These meats were primarily grilled and food was cooked in clay pots. There was no fried or stir fried dishes until the wok was introduced to Thailand from China in the 16th century. Primary dishes included yum (salads) and kruang jim (dips) which can still be seen as a mainstay in Thai cuisine today. Spices were mostly added to food to mask gamy flavors from wild meats or bitterness from some vegetables. In addition, fish was made into nam plaa (fish sauce) and kapi (fish paste) to add flavor to the plain foods.

All of this began to change in the 16th century as the outside world discovered Siam and Ayutthaya

became the commercial and political center of Asia. At that time it seemed that all roads, both land and water based led to Thailand. Traders and merchants came from all corners of the globe, beginning with nearby China, India and Malaysia, and later expanding to include travelers from Europe who arrived via the sea lanes.

As you can imagine these merchants and travelers brought with them the foods and cooking methods of their homelands, since many foods and spices were alien to Siam at that time. Caravans would set up on the outside of Ayutthaya and sailors would be anchored in the river for months at a time waiting for the winds to turn.

As the merchants and sailors were cooking the foods of their homelands the delicious fragrances would be borne on the winds for all to smell and undoubtedly drew the attention of the Thais. One can imagine them asking about the wonderful smells and tasting new spices, fruits and vegetables from the visiting travelers.

And after tasting these intriguing new dishes they would logically ask about the recipe and ingredients.

Hotels Bangkok: Popularity

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Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok

★★★★★

-10%

216195

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Grande Centre Point Hotel Ratchadamri Bangkok

★★★★★

-22%

128101

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Rembrandt Hotel Suites and Towers

★★★★

-20%

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VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery

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-7%

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Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort

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-21%

138109

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Banyan Tree Bangkok

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ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai

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-8%

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Hotel Muse Bangkok Langsuan - MGallery

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176139

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Amari Watergate Bangkok

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lebua at State Tower

★★★★★

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134111

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Over time these new dishes would become incorporated into the Thai cuisine that we know and love today.

Northern routes brought the Chinese to Thailand and with them came tea, dried fruit, the wok and bamboo steamer, rice noodles and the concept of sweet and sour flavors together.

The Thai’s expanded that even more by including spicy and salty as well to form the current well known Thai dishes. From the west came Indians, and later Europeans, carrying curries, coffee and spices.

Thailand’s nearby southern neighbors contributed betel nuts, satay and massaman while eastern Thailand was influenced by Lao cooking and less so by Vietnamese and Cambodian cooking.

The arrival of the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese in the 17th century created a huge impact on Thai foods.

Europeans brought the onion and shallot to Thailand which are now irreplaceable in Thai cuisine. Merchants also brought garlic, peppercorns and chili’s which were surprisingly unknown in Thailand prior to this.

Other common Thai ingredients introduced at this time include lychees, papaya, watermelon, pineapples and cashews.
Europeans also introduced the white potato, corn and wheat to Siam at this time.

Along with the new foods, Europeans also brought new cooking tools and methods of preparation. For example, the Portuguese and Indians introduced the addition of coconut milk to curries, which is now famous in Thailand and they also added tomato’s and eggplant.

Thai food is some of the most delicious and complex foods in the world.

Because of Thailand’s central location in Asia they were able to collect the best of the foods and cooking techniques of many lands and peoples. They then took these as there own and made them uniquely Thai, combining sweet, salty, sour and spicy in sometimes amazing combinations to make some of the best tasting food one can find.

So next time you eat a Thai dish remember that it took many hundreds of years and the contributions of many lands to make Thai food what it is today…absolutely delicious!