The loy gratong festival takes place in Thailand in November when there is a full moon. Loy Gratong literally means “float gratong”. Agratong is typically a small decorated receptacle made from banana leaves and a piece of banana tree trunk, although sometimes they are made of other materials (foam, for example) and sometimes they are very large. The gratongs are floated in rivers, canals, ponds and anywhere else there is water.
You can make your own gratong or you can buy one. You will find many people selling them. Prices vary depending on size. 20-30 baht is common but bigger ones can cost more.
A candle on the gratong is lit and often a small coin is also placed on the gratong. Traditionally Thais floated a gratong as an apology for any harm they have done to water in the last year but nowadays people usually make a wish as they launch their gratong.
The scene can be a beautiful sight for a few hours but in the morning the water is in a worse state than 24 hours before.
The loy gratong festival usually includes food, markets, music, singing, dancing and games.
Fireworks are also let off and so are floating lanterns.
Enjoy the loy gratong festival in Phimai today, the 6th of November 2014.
The annual Phimai festival will be held this year from the 5th to 9th November 2014.
Events include long boat racing, a Korat cat contest, a bird contest, singing, Thai dancing and a show at the Phimai historical park. Other events will take place and in the centre of the town stalls have been set up that will sell food, drinks, clothing and various other items.
Tomorrow, 5th November, there will be a Thai puppet show in the historical park. It is scheduled to start at 6pm.
The long boat racing this year is scheduled for 6-9 November in the usual location, Lam Jakarat. Good views of the racing can be had from the bridge on Anantachinda Road.
There will be a series of music concerts on each day of the festival. Bank from Clash will appear on 5th November, Family Valentine on 6th November, Labanoon on 7th November, Malihuanna on 8th November and Wong Gang-geng on 9th November.
The Korat Cat contest takes place in the afternoon of Saturday 8th November in the local government building (amper). The bird show takes place on Sunday 9th November.