The Loy Krathong festival dates back to the time of the Sukhothai Kingdom, about 700 years ago.
It marked the end of the rainy season and the main rice harvest. It is based on a Hindu tradition
of thanking the water goddess for the water. The farmers of Sukhothai used to hold a festival of floating
One year, a beautiful woman called Noppamas, who was the chief royal consort, made some
special lanterns for the festival. She made them from banana leaves and shaped them like lotus flowers.
The king was impressed with what he saw, so he announced that krathongs would be floated on the water
every year from then on. Today, the memory of that woman who made the first Krathong is remembered in
a beauty contest called "The Noppamas Queen Contest".
Today, it may be observed, that a lot of couples water their basket together. Obviously this ritual
has the meaning of some kind of promise they give each other. You can water your basket only with
one person and it is very important with whom you do it.
When I practised it for the first time, it was at the duck pound of my university.
The atmosphere was somehow damped, as we wondered if the Krathong would set anything on fire,
because we had no banana leaves and took styrofoam instead. However, the goddess of water was merciful
and no police showed up the next day ;-)
Since then I managed to be in Thailand during Loy Krathong very often. The ambiance is always overwhelming
and I wonder how it may be when watering the Krathong with 'คุณหวานใจ'.