If you’ve been to Thailand, you’ll have most certainly heard of the full moon parties that occur in the South, particularly on Koh Phangan. These parties occur every full moon and draw loads of tourists. Music, dancing, body paint and fire juggling spectacles, these parties continue all night and have people travelling quite the distance to experience. In recent years, there have been mixed reviews on these parties, their level of safety and how crazy they can get.
We didn’t end up going to the full moon party, although we were close by. Instead, we chose to stay on Koh Samui, a neighbouring island, and take part in the Full Moon Festival, a once a year occurrence on the first evening of the 12th lunar month. The festival is named Loy Krathong, Loy meaning floating and Krathong the name of small vessels sent onto the water. These krathongs are decorated with flowers, coins and candles, as well as nail clippings or hair from the person or family, and are sent onto the water after dark. This is seen as a way of getting rid of bad luck by providing an offering to the goddess of water in apology for all the wrongdoings, such as pollution, done against the oceans and rivers and in thanks for all they have provided.