Phi Phi Island Culture Guides


Loy Krathong

Phi Phi Island Culture | Phi Phi Islands Celebrate Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is one of Thailand's most illustrious festivals. It is celebrated all over the country, and the Phi Phi Islands are no exception. Every November, on the night of the full moon, Phi Phi Island's waterways (and swimming pools) are transformed into a spectacular mystical experience with thousands of lights. On every stretch of water around the Phi Phi Islands, flickering lights dance and float in the breeze, making for a brilliant spectacle.

History of Loy Krathong

Called the "quiet celebration," Loi Krathong is held yearly and is rumored to have its origins in Sukhothai (north of Bangkok) around 800 years ago. The explanations of the significance of the feast vary. Some believe that when the floats (krathongs) begin their journey; they take the owner's misfortunes away. Others believe that the floating krathongs carry away all the sins and calamities that have plagued a person during the year. Still others deem that lovers can foresee the fortune of their romance by spending Loy Krathong watching their krathongs float together downstream. Krathongs that remain together, promise life-long partnership.

The most popular belief is that Loy Krathong is an expression of gratitude to the goddess of water - Phra Mae Kongka-for having used the water from the rivers and canals, and a thanksgiving for her bounty in providing water for the livelihood of the people of Phi Phi Island and all of Thailand.

Efforts were made to bring back ancient festivals when ancient Sukhothai city was restored as the Historical Park of Sukhothai, and this brought back the light festival - Loy Krathong. It has remained a major attraction on Phi Phi Island and throughout Thailand.

Loy Krathong - A Once In A Lifetime Experience On Phi Phi Island

Many tourists who are lucky enough to be on Phi Phi Island for Loy Krathong describe it as "a once in a lifetime experience." The people of Phi Phi Island take special care to decorate the krathongs with trinkets, flowers and banana leaves; leaving room for candles and incense. Some attach coins, locks of hair or nail clippings to add uniqueness to their krathong.

The Loy Krathong festival is a gala event with Phi Phi Island women glittering in colorful costumes. Their hair is bejeweled with flowers that are shaped like cups. Phi Phi Island men also dress for the occasion and congregate around the beaches with their hands full of krathongs. As the krathongs float through the water, Phi Phi Island boys dive to retrieve the coins that are attached to many of the krathongs.

Loy Krathong is one evening on Phi Phi Island - when the waters are aglow with thousands upon thousands of glimmering candles - like stars that have drop from heaven to paradise.

Last Updated: 29 Feb 2012