PHUKET: Tourists and island residents don’t have far to go to explore the wonders of Thailand’s rich cultural heritage as one of the country’s most romantic, tranquil and beautiful holidays is just around the corner.
Loy Krathong, the “Festival of Light”, takes place on the full moon of the 12th lunar month of the year,
falling this year on November 6, this Thursday.
The holiday will see events, contests and krathong releases throughout the island.
Loy literally means “to float”, while krathong refers to the lotus-shaped vessels that are traditionally made of banana leaves and contain candles, joss sticks, small offerings of food and flowers.
Traditionally, thousands of people across the nation release the krathong onto rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea. The offerings are made to give thanks to the goddess of water and to seek forgiveness for past misdeeds.
Young couples can be seen, especially by the water at Saphan Hin, floating krathong and lighting up khom loi lanterns to release into the sky – an act thought by many to bring good luck and love to those who take part in the festival together.
The festival usually includes beauty pageants, fireworks and krathong-making contests using materials such as banana leaves and cross-sections of banana tree trunks, coconut bark or paper.
Last year, celebrations were muted to show respect for the passing of His Holiness the Supreme Patriarch Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara Somdet Phra Sangharaja. However, this year the festivities will be back in full swing with a plethora of activities taking place from today through Thursday.
Loy Krathong in Phuket
Wednesday – 6pm: Performances on the main stage (near the police box at the end of Soi Bangla), cultural performance by students from Thaksin University in Songkhla, followed by the Patong Entertainment Business Association’s presentation of scholarships.
Thursday – 5:30pm: Parade from Phang Muang Sai Kor Road to the main stage. 6pm: Music and live performances on eight stages along Patong Beach, including nang talung shadow puppet plays, Thai and international performances, and Miss Noppamas beauty pageants for children from 7:30pm and for adults from 8:30pm). The Patong Miss Noppamas is open to all women, Thai or foreign. For more information call Patong Municipality at 076-342078.
Karon / Kata
(In front of the municipality offices)
Thursday – Morning: Local sports for students and local residents. 7pm: Miss Noppamas pageant and stage performances from local schools and organizations.
Rawai / Nai Harn
November 4-6: Stage performances, Thai folk music, Miss Noppamas beauty pageant at Nai Harn Lake.
(At the field opposite Ladthiwanaram Temple, “Wat Tai”)
Wednesday: Miss Noppamas pageant for kids.
Thursday: Loy Krathong parade, Miss Noppamas pageant and krathong contest.
November 4-6: Stage performances and vendors at Saphan Hin, from 4pm to midnight daily.
Tuesday – 6pm: Miss Noppamas beauty pageant for kids. Wednesday – 6pm: Thai Folk music singing contest. Thursday – Morning: Krathong craft-making competition. 8pm: Loy Krathong opening ceremony.
(Laguna Grove Y-Junction in front of Laguna Phuket Beach Resort)
Thursday – 7pm-10:30pm: Concert by famous Thai folk singer Kataleeya Marasri, Traditional Thai performances, singing contest, krathong contest and a shadow puppet show.
November 4-6 – From 5pm: “Remembering the Bang Maruan Mine of Yesteryear” Festival at the Bang Maruan Lagoon with stage performances, a nong noppamas beauty pageant for children, stalls selling One Tambon One Product (OTOP) items, classic Thai movies shown on a big screen and light and sound performances.
(at the municipality offices)
Thursday – Stage performances by local residents, an impersonations show, music, krathong contest, Miss Noppamas beauty pageant for kids.