Thailand will unite to celebrate the Loy Krathong festival on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 when people pay their respects to the goddess of the waters by floating candlelit offerings on waterways across the kingdom.
The word Loy literally means “to float” and Krathong means a raft; and people make small floating rafts from a variety of materials that are decorated with banana leaves, candles, flowers and incense sticks.
Some believe the ceremony provides an opportunity to ask for forgiveness for bad things they have done over the year. Others claim adorning the Buddha with light, as represented by the candle on the floating krathong, represents the release of negative feelings.
The traditional beauty pageant that accompanies the festival is known as the “Noppamas Queen Contest”. Other activities include firework displays; a sound and light show at Sukhothai Historical Park; and festivities on the River Ping in Chiang Mai.