Loy Krathong a Thai National Tradition  |  Pansea Beach, Phuket, Thailand |  So the day has come and finally I got to see what everyone told me I should not miss, the Loy Krathong Festivities. I was told that the best destination in Thailand to experience this festival is Chiang Mai, but unfortunately my travel plans were made before knowing about this, and I found myself tonight under the full moon over the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea in Phuket. I must say that regardless of the location, was such a magical night filled with tradition, music and myths.

This year I have lit many candles around the world, for many important causes and events, but Loy Krathong is very special, since it is filled with traditions, history and mysticism. Loy Krathong is celebrated every year, on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November. And tonight was the night, with a beautiful huge full moon indeed.

Amanpuri by Aman Resorts, my hotel for the next two nights, shared with us, all their guests, this magical festivity, guiding us step by step on this Buddhist festivity a Thai National Tradition. The celebrations began punctually at 7.30PM with live performances from all regions of Thailand.

Over 100 years ago on the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai calendar year, Lady Nopphamat was told King Somdej Phra Laungchao and his wives were to go boating on the river to view the full moon. She asked all the people living nearby to build lanterns to float on the river in honor of their King, and show respect for the river which gave them water for their crops, drinking and bathing, fish for food, and their way of transportation. When the King and his entourage arrived, everyone lit the candle on their lantern and set it afloat.
The glowing candles on the dark river impressed the King, and when asked to choose his favorite style of lantern, he picked one resembling a lotus blossom, which had been made by Lady Nopphamat. A Royal Decree was issued. ” From this time on there will be a festival on the full moon of the 12th month of the year and lanterns in style of lotus blossoms will be floated on the water “. The lotus shaped lanterns, Krathongs, are made from banana, papun leaves of paper. Flowers are added for decoration. The also carry a candle and three incense sticks which represent the Triple Gems of Buddishm, the Buddha, the Dhama and the Sangha. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com

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