On the twelfth full moon of the Thai lunar calendar each year, Thai families gather on the banks of rivers, canals or any body of water to float banana leaf boats decorated with flowers and three sparklers, candles, or incense sticks to celebrate the Loy Krathong Festival. In the western calendar, this event usually takes place in November.
The ceremony is fairly simple and straightforward, after all "loy" means "to float" and "krathong" refers to the banana leaf vessel that is set adrift in the river with the hopes of having one’s wishes come true. However, when performed by thousands at the same time, it becomes a spectacle of light and emotion.
Sukhothai claims to be the festival’s place of origin and the ancient city is one of the best places to experience it. There is a plethora of activities at the Sukhotai Historical Park on these days, from beauty contests to parades to krathong-making constests. Each night culminates in a spell-binding light and sound show followed by a beautiful firework display set against the backdrop of the ancient ruins.