Loy Krathong Festival: Sukhothai Historical Park 2011

Asking for Forgiveness Ceremony to the River Goddess

Grand Krathong at Traphang Trakuan, Sukhothai Historical Park
The most famous Loy Krathong Festival at Sukhothai Historical Park has been held every year during the 12th lunar month (November) among the cool weather of early winter in Thailand.

What is Loy Krathong?
Ceremony to ask for the forgiveness to the River Goddess because of water use for agriculture, transportations, consumptions, generate pollution and waste into the water and wish to start something new. By floating away the Krathong (small rounded raft in form of lotus blossom) to the water sources as the worship to the River Goddess and hope the bad thing would be away with Krathong too.

This festival has been held all over Thailand. The water sources are river, lake, canal, pond, sea and even swimming pool.

It is believed that the first Loy Krathong Festival was held in Sukhothai by Lady Noppamas the consort of Phaya Lithai one of the great kings of Sukhothai. She invented the lotus leaves shaped raft made from banana leaves accompanied with candle and incenses to worship the River Goddess. The Krathongs were sent off into water under the full moon on 12th lunar month.

Candlelit and Lighting, Loy Krathong Festival Night
Loy Krathong Festival 2011 
Loy Krathong Festival at Sukhothai is held on three consecutive days. No admission charge.

I traveled from home town in Kamphaeng Phet province on late afternoon, enjoyed dinner in the new Sukhothai town and visited the ruins of Wat Phra PhaiLuang before parking the car at the parking lot. Then I took the free classic shuttle bus to the historical park on 8 pm.

Candle lit by lanterns under the moonlight
The event were covered Wat Mahathat, King Ramkhamhaeng Monument Park, Wat Sa Si and Wat Traphang Ngern. These historic sites had been decorated with lanterns and lights, in the reservoirs were also adorned with bamboo torches. Everywhere were bright under the full moon. 

Unfortunately, Thailand are facing the great flood as a result the less visitors from oversea and other provinces. However, the event was full of local people and not too crowded.

Outdoor Market
Shows and activitities 
Light and Sound presentation was held at Wat Mahathat. It was about legend and peacefulness of Sukhothai Kingdom. Traditional Thai music and Thai classical dance were performed around the King Ramkhamhaeng Monument Park. There were outdoor market selling Krathongs and souvenirs and Ancient Market selling traditional Thai food and beverages. 

Moreover, there was the Miss Noppamas pageant. The beautiful girls in traditional Thai dress on contest runway. Traditionally, the contestants must be the native of that province.   

At the right time, there was the releasing of floating lanterns into the sky and fireworks to celebrate the festival.

UNESCO: Wat Traphang Ngern at Night
Classic Shuttle Bus, Sukhothai Historical Park

My impression
The first thing is classic shuttle bus converted from four or six-wheel truck. The bus body made ​​of wood and the passenger compartment is installed with timber benches. The traditional style of travel in rural areas of Thailand on 30-40 years ago, you may have the opportunity to experience it at Sukhothai.

The second thing is Wat Traphang Ngern at night by lakeside. Great time to enjoy the beauty of Sukhothai World Heritage Site as private, there were not many tourists in this area and the air was cool under full moon. Very fantastic!

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