Lights, Lanterns and Lotus Flowers

Thailand is well known for it’s epic Full Moon Parties, drinking buckets and fireshows on the beach but what about Thailand’s festivals? You may have heard of Songkran (AKA the biggest water fight in the world), a 4 day street party that involves throwing buckets of water and shooting water pistols at everyone you see. Then there’s Phi Ta Khon, ‘The Ghost festival’, the religious Ubon Ratchatani Candle festival and Thailand’s very own monkey buffet (It’s actually a thing – Google it!), however arguably Thailand’s most spectacular festival is Loi Krathong, Festival of Lights.

What is the Festival of the lights?

Loi Krathong (literally translated to Floating basket or Floating crown) is a festival believed to date back 8 centuries in Thailand. It involves placing lotus shaped rafts (Krathong) decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto water with the intention of bringing luck and fulfilling wishes. Traditionally the decorations are placed into rivers and canals but nowadays any water including lakes and ponds will do! A popular belief in Thailand is that if the candle on your Krathong stays lit until it disappears out of sight, you’re in for a year of good luck!

When does it take place?

Loi Krathong normally takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, normally in November, at the end of the rainy season. This year, it’ll take place on Wednesday 25th November. In Chiang Mai an extra ‘show’ is put on for tourists a week after the official free festival for the locals.

Where is it celebrated?

The festival of lights is celebrated all over Thailand. In Chiang Mai in Thailand’s North it’s celebrated slightly differently with a religious festival, Yi Peng. Here lanterns are released into the sky rather than water to pay homage to Buddha. At night, the sky is lit up with thousands of lanterns creating a beautiful light display!

If you’re lucky enough to be in Thailand now, make sure to take part in the festival! Planning a trip to Thailand? You don’t have to wait until next November! Lanterns are sold year round in Thailand.

Check out our 11 day Ultimate Thailand tour and get in touch for help organising your trip! Check out our videos for Ultimate Thailand and Ultimate Vietnam to see for yourself how amazing SE Asia is!

Like’ us on FB for travel inspiration, photos, videos and more blogs and follow us on Instagram ( for travel pics!

Whenever you are in Thailand, there is always something worth celebrating, which is just one of the reasons why Thailand is one of my favourite places in the world. Here are some of the top Thailand events in the calendar for you to look out for!

The most well known festival is the Thai New Year celebration of Songkran in April, but if you can’t make it over for then, there is something going on pretty much every month of the year. I’ve put together a list of my favourites from religious festivals, to sporting & music events.

After Songkran, the second biggest festival is held in November, and this is the Loy Krathong festival. It is held all over Thailand, wherever there is a body of water.  Loi means ‘to float’ and a Krathong is a little boat made of banana leaves or coconut shells.  Come night time hundreds of festival goers float their homemade boats, complete with candles, flowers and coins on the water as a way to symbolise letting worries and misdeeds float away. Make sure you stop by to take some photos of all these twinkling boats floating down rivers and streams.

If you fancy a party, on the 5th of December, the whole country gathers to celebrate the King’s birthday, with huge celebrations all over the country! The king is considered by Thais as almost a living God, so they want to give him the best birthday party. Head over to the Grand Palace in Bangkok to celebrate with live music, food and a big birthday sing song! Join in the birthday celebrations before meeting us in Bangkok for your trip!

An event with slightly less cultural significance, but worth getting involved in all the same is the Pattaya International Music festival in March. This is a free event which attracts music lovers from all parts of the world. It runs for three days, featuring local and international artists, with beach activities during the day and all genres of music at night. Pattaya is just a few hours from Bangkok and a great place to start your Thailand Adventure before joining our trip!

If it’s sporting events you’re particularly interested in, in November this year, Phuket is hosting the 4th Asian Beach Games, which is an array of 23 beach sporting events including volleyball, sailing, wrestling, beach basketball, water skiing and many more. Head over to Patong and Karon beaches in Phuket to watch, or just chill out in paradise! Phuket is also a great island to hang out on at the end of your trip.

Also on Phuket, held in June this year is the Laguna Phuket International Marathon. If you’re going to run a marathon, you might as well do it in paradise! The route takes in beautiful beaches and Thai village markets before finishing in the resort of Laguna Phuket in the North West. If you’re not quite up for a whole marathon, there are other distances that you can walk/run including half marathon and 10k fun runs.

A trip to Thailand is for most of us, a once in a lifetime experience, so make the most of it and do something a bit different! See you there…