Celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai


Did you know that celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is quite possibly the best place to see this special Thailand festival? This year’s Loy Krathong will take place in late-October. Below is a general overview of a Loy Krathong experience I had in Chiang Mai.


People everywhere, of all nationalities – from the little ones taking their first steps balancing the gravitational pull of Mother Earth to the character-laden faces of the old relaying a million stories. The world-famous Loy Krathong Festival is celebrated throughout Thailand, but none more feverishly than in Chiang Mai.

Thai Festivals - Loy Krathong Thailand

The sights at Loy Krathong really are something to behold.

Thailand Festival – Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

Festivals bind us all together for a common cause, be it religious, spiritual, or just an excuse for a good party. Thais are Asia’s leading exponents for partying, and Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is the most aesthetically pleasing of them all.


Walking within a stone’s throw of the ancient walls that guarded the city during the Lanna Empire some 700 years ago, a steam of positive vibes and goodwill bounce off the pavement shooting out in every direction. The colorful lanterns and meticulously created flowery floats mirrored the beauty of the city in its full glory and the joyful expressions on the faces all around.


Within the midst of Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is the wrong time to visit and absorb an authentic reflection of the city. But it’s a great time to understand the true essence of Thai culture. Asia’s intrinsic link with good and bad luck and superstition is no more evident than during the festivities.

Loy Krathong Chiang Mai - Thai Festivals 2020

Come along to Chiang Mai to enjoy the most spectacular festival

What is Loy Krathong?

The word ‘Krathong’ is usually a float woven with banana leaves with a floral pattern intricately placed within. The Krathong is lowered onto a river, lake, or in the ocean and then symbolically cast away, as in casting away your problems and sins of the previous year to attain a fresh start. It’s also a goodwill gesture and apology to the Goddess of the Water for all the pollution and bad things inflicted upon her during the previous 365 days. Lovers in arms also cast away a Krathong to signify their courtship and hope for a beautiful future together.


As a procession of floats meandered through Chiang Mai City, people gathered and lined the streets to soak up the atmosphere and gaze towards the immaculately dressed Thai people in their authentic Lanna attire. The electric atmosphere was spiraling upwards when in true Thai fashion, one of the pick trucks decorated as a float got stuck in an archway nearly tearing the decorations in two. By this point, the procession had come to a standstill as the vehicle performed a 16-point shuffle and still failed to make it through. Many onlookers joined together to give the float a good kick up the backside, and in an eye blink, the vehicle finally made it through the pearly gates to the raptures applause of the crowd. That’s just part of the fun of Loy Krathong on Chiang Mai.

Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai

Aside from the procession, Chiang Mai is the perfect place for Loy Krathong. The city is separated by a canal system, which is ablaze with Krathongs for two or three nights during the festival. Anywhere there is a piece of water, you will see the floats.


Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai is an exciting experience and the best place in Thailand to view the festival. Loy Krathong 2020 will be taking place on 31 October 2020, so make sure you find the ideal spot for the festival. If you are in the Chiang Mai region, you are in for a real treat.

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