Sunday, 29 January 2012


Picture above is a Kratong, used to celebrate the Thai festival Loy Kratong in Koh Samui. 

The festivals and events of the island should be included in your Koh Samui things to do list. The Thai love festivities and enjoying parties. Their festivals and events are among the most unique and extraordinary in the world. There are so many festivals and events in Koh Samui. These festivals and events are among the long list of Koh Samui things to do.

The Songkran is a festival celebrated from April 13 to April 15. Songkran is derived from Sanskrit words that mean “New Year” but in Thailand, “Songkran” is known as the Water Festival. It is a day to celebrate new life and new beginnings symbolized by cleansing using water. Usually, the Thais celebrate it by pouring small amounts of water on themselves or on their family and friends. Nowadays, the celebration has evolved into a whole day water fight on the streets. One of the many Koh Samui things to do is participating in the water fights.

Traditionally, Songkran was a religious holiday and the Thais would travel back to their hometowns and visit relatives. Families would gather together and have a feast. Their homes would prepare for the New Year celebration by cleaning and washing the holy artifacts in their homes. The religious tradition of Songkran is not popularly known to most people but the water fights are known worldwide.

People, both locals and foreigners, look forward to the water fights during the Songkran celebration. They would aim water pistols on passersby and some even have buckets and hoses of water prepared. Though the celebration is quite wild and rowdy, foreigners should be mindful that the uniformed police, the elderly and the injured should not be included. Also, drivers of motorbikes and bicycles should not be aimed at with water pistols and the like. If your idea of Koh Samui things to do includes water fights and getting drenched on the street, then you should join in on the fun! It is a great way to experience a unique festival in Koh Samui island.

The Loy Kratong is among the many Koh Samui things to do as well. It is celebrated during the full moon of the 12th lunar month. Usually, the festival is held in the month of November. It is also popularly known as the Festival of Light. Among the other festivals, the Loy Kratong is perhaps, the most anticipated festival in the Thai calendar aside from the Songkran.

If you want to include the Loy Kratong in your Koh Samui things to do list, then you should prepare your offerings. The kratong will carry them into the sea or the local river. The Loy Kratong comes from the combination of the Thai word “loy” which means “to float” and kratong which is a name of a small craft that locals make. Traditionally, the kratong is crafted from strips of the trunk of the banana or the leaves of the banana. Nowadays, the materials are far more creative and advanced. The kratong contains the offerings such as money, flowers, incense sticks, food and candles.  

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