Where the idea got started....
On the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month the tide in the rivers is highest and the moon at its brightest, creating a romantic setting ideal for lovers. The Thai people choose this day to hold the 'Loy Krathong' festival, or the 'Festival of Light'.
'Loy' literally means 'to float' while 'Krathong' refers to the lotus shaped receptacles which can float on the water. Originally, the Krathong was made of banana leaves or the layers of the trunk of a banana tree or a spider lily plant. A Krathong contains food, betel nuts, flowers, joss sticks, candles and coins. The Loy Krathong ritual is a simple one. One needs only to light the candles and the joss sticks, make one's wishes and let it float away with the current on a river or a canal. On that day, thousands of people will gather beside the canals and rivers.
With Krathong in hands, they light the candle, put some coins in the Krathong and silently make a wish, and carefully place their Krathongs in the water and release them to the current. They watch intently as the float drifts silently downstream, hoping that the candle will not go out. Its flame is said to signify longevity, fulfillment of wishes and release from sins. Altogether it is considered a romantic night for couples or lovers.
Couples who make a wish together on Loy Krathong are thought to stay together in the future.The releasing of candle powered paper floating sky lanterns called 'Khom Loi' will be a major part of these nightly festivities.
These look magnificent as hundreds of sky lanterns are launched and float away into the night sky.
Happy Loy Krathong!