TAT Positive on Festival of Light
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) forecast that THB3.7 billion (US$102.8 million) will be generated by this year’s Loy Krathong or Festival of Light, held on November 25th.
Loy Krathong is one of the nation’s most popular festivals, in which decorated banana leaf floats containing candles, incense and personal mementos are floated onto waterways around the country and lanterns released into the sky to pay homage to Lord Buddha and the water goddess Phra Mae Khongkha.
According to Visanu Jorensilp, deputy governor for tourism products and business, 2 million visitors were expected to participate in cultural events arranged in seven provinces around the country. TAT promotes the event to overseas visitors as an opportunity to sample a taste of true Thai culture.
“The Loy Krathong Festival has been practiced in Thailand for centuries, so it is a precious cultural heritage of the kingdom,” said Visanu. “The festival takes place during one of the best times in Thailand when there is a full moon in the sky, water in the river, and the weather is nice and cool, which is the perfect time for a lovely celebration. We have listed Loy Krathong among Thailand’s most impressive cultural events under plans to raise their profile into world events.”
Visitors to Bangkok can enjoy the festival at various points along the city’s Chao Phraya River, where the bulk of the celebrations take place. This year, TAT worked hand in hand with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to stage a grand Loy Krathong event running from 23 – 25 November at a range of venues scattered along the riverside.
The River Festival 2015 is a major part of the festivities to celebrate the famous holiday. Events take place four temples – Wat Arun, Wat Chetupon, Wat Prayurawongsawas, and Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan, with cultural performances also staged at other venues served by a free charter boat service.
Extravagant firework displays are also a key attraction for visitor and these take place all around the country with particularly spectacular views of fireworks and lanterns enjoyed by visitors on islands such as Phuket and Koh Samui.
updates by Wayne Hue