Agoda.com, Asia’s leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), is offering great hotel deals for travelers who would like to experience Loy Kratong, long one of Thailand’s most popular festivals, and widely considered its most romantic and beautiful celebration.
On November 17th this year, the night of the 12th full moon on the traditional Thai calendar, celebrants will head to Thailand’s many rivers, lakes and canals to take part in a tradition that’s hundreds of years old. Honoring Phra Mae Khongkha, the Goddess of Water, the festival gives people a chance to pay respect and give thanks for a (hopefully) bountiful year past, and to ask for continuing good luck in the coming one. Thailand, as a culture with a heavy reliance on agriculture, has long had a deep and vital tie to the availability of water, so it’s no surprise that Loy Kratong is still seen as an important event.
The name of the festival is unique in that it describes – in Thai – exactly what participants are expected to do. Around most any large body of water throughout the country are dozens of vendors offering a huge variety of round little boats – or kratongs – that range from small and simple to large and ornate. Made from wood, bread or cross-sections of bamboo and banana trees, they are often adorned with flowers, leaves, candles, incense and other decorative items. After choosing a kratong, participants head to the water, say a prayer, and float – or loi – their kratong away from shore. For an extra bit of karma, some even include a fingernail clipping or a few strands of hair to symbolize new beginnings.