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Loy Krathong
Photo credit: John Shedrick on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong is a traditional Thai festival that is celebrated annually in the city of Parramatta in Sydney, is also known as the ‘festival of lights’.

The date of the festival is marked by the appearance of the full moon. This means that the dates can vary from year to year. However, as a general guide, Loy Krathong is held in November.

Loy Krathong 2020 Sydney, Dates, Times, Address, Paramatta Foreshore

The name of the event can be translated to mean ‘float a basket’. This is derived from one of the age-old practices of creating decorative baskets which are then released and remain afloat on the river. These specially designed baskets are known as krathongs, hence the name of the festival.

Traditionally, krathongs were designed from banana trunk pieces to ensure buoyancy. Modern krathongs, however, are made from either bread or modified plastic (although the latter is discouraged due to water and environmental pollution). The highlight of the event is the inclusion of candles in the krathongs so that the floating baskets create an amazing array of lights that gives Loy Krathong the name ‘festival of lights’.

Locals and visitors will be able to take part in Loy Krathong by heading over to the Parramatta River. Bring your own krathong or take part in one of the krathong making workshops which you can then launch into the river. Make a wish as you launch your krathong or toss in a coin to appease the river spirits and bring good luck. Watching the krathongs float away is an exciting experience, especially for first-time visitors. The sight of thousands of lights, drifting away and the gentle breeze causing the flames to flicker in the calm of the night is a breathtaking experience.

Make sure to also enjoy some traditional Thai food and enjoy a Singha beer in the beer garden. There will be plenty of live cultural performances including dances and music. There will also be kite painting workshops and a children’s cooking school. Check out the market stalls selling a range of Thai-themed goods and tasty treats.

If you are coming to Parramatta just for the festival, there are countless accommodation choices available. If you are interested in browsing the range of accommodation options, click the link below.

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Between Barry Wilde Bridge and Elizabeth St Footbridge, Parramatta, NSW

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