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What is Loy Krathong?

Loi Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout southwestern Tai cultures

(Thailand, Laos, Shan, Mon, Tanintharyi, Kelantan, Kedah and Xishuangbanna). The name could be
translated as "to float a basket", and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant,
decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river.
Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai
lunar calendar; hence, the exact date of the festival changes every year. In the Western calendar this
usually falls in the month of November. In 2015 it was celebrated on November 25th; in 2016 it was
celebrated on November 14th and in 2017 it was celebrated on November 3rd.
In Thailand, the festival is known as "Loi Krathong" (). Outside Thailand, this festival is
celebrated under different names, including Myanmar as the "Tazaungdaing festival", Sri Lanka as
"Il Full Moon Poya" and Cambodia as "Bon Om Touk."
With Loy Krathong comes the chance to ask Ganga, the
goddess of the river, for her forgiveness for mans polluting of
the water and to thank her for fertility.They kneel by the rivers
to ask the goddess to forgive them their transgressions of the
past year. And then they'll ask that she sweeps all their bad luck
and worries away with the current as she scoops up their
humble krathong offerings.
Yi Peng
Loi Krathong coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival
). Yi means "two" and peng means
known as Yi Peng (Thai:
a "full moon day". Yi Peng refers to the full moon day in the second month according to the Lanna
lunar calendar (the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar).[10] The festival is meant as a time to
make merit (Thai: ; RTGS: tham bun) to glorify the mythical Chulamanee Pagoda in heaven..
Swarms of sky lanterns (Thai: ; RTGS: khom loi), literally: 'floating lanterns', are launched into
the air. Khom loi are made from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, stretched over a bamboo or wire
frame, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air is
trapped inside the lantern and creates enough lift for the khom loi to float into the sky.
During the festival, some people also decorate their houses, gardens, and temples with khom
fai (Thai: ), intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms. Khom
thue (Thai: ) are lanterns which are carried around hanging from a stick, khom
khwaen (Thai: ) are the hanging lanterns, and khom pariwat (Thai: ), which are
placed at temples and which revolve due to the heat of the candle inside. The most elaborate Yi
Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai,[13] the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom,
where now both Loi Krathong and Yi Peng are celebrated at the same time resulting in lights floating
on the waters, lights hanging from trees/buildings or standing on walls, and lights floating in the sky.
The tradition of Yi Peng was also adopted by certain parts of Laos during the 16th century.