One of the most colorful festivals in Bangkok is the celebration of Loy Krathong, an evening when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water.
If you’re in the city a week before the conference, you should definitely make an effort to find a riverside location to celebrate Loy Krathong. The history behind the festival is complex, and Thai’s celebrate for many reasons.
The festival marks the period when the main rice harvest season has ended and it’s time to thank the Water Goddess for a year’s worth of her abundant supply, as well as an apology for polluting the waters. Some believe that this is the time to symbolically ‘float away’ all the anger and grudges you have been holding onto, and including a fingernail or a lock of hair is seen as a way of letting go of the dark side of yourself, to start anew free of negative feelings. If your candle stays alight until your Krathong disappears out of sight, it means a year of good luck. 
This is definitely a great way to start Beyond Blocks Blockchain Week!
About Loy Krathong
Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month (usually in November), at the end of the rainy season when the full-moon lights up the sky. The sight of thousands of Krathongs, their flickering candles sending a thousand pinpoints of light far into the horizon is a truly magical site, and there are plenty of places in Bangkok where you can get involved with the festivities. 
Traditionally, Thais release their krathongs into rivers and small canals called ‘klongs’. Today, a pond or lake is also good. Many places host a string of cultural activities, such as ‘Ram Wong’ dance performances, krathong-making competitions and a beauty contest. People have started releasing lanterns in Bangkok, but this is only a small part of the festival. For the full lantern experience, head up to Chiang Mai for ‘Yee Peng’ festival, although people often fly lanterns in Phuket and Samui, too.
What is a Krathong?
There is no equivalent word in English for ‘krathong’. You may hear people referring to it as a small boat, vessel, receptacle or container. In the run-up to the festival, many shops and market stalls will display ready-made Krathongs, or in parts, so you can assemble and decorate as you wish. In the past, krathongs were made from natural materials — usually, a section from a banana tree trunk, crafted into a lotus shape by using folded banana leaves, and these can still be found for sale around the main festival sites. More recently, Thais have become more creative in their craft and design the krathongs from coconut shells, flowers, baked bread, potato slices, some breaking with the conventional lotus leaf shape in favour of turtles and other sea creatures.
Where can you float a Krathong in Bangkok?
Many hotels in Bangkok host a Loy Krathong event at their swimming pool area (contact your hotel for more information). You can try your hand at Loy Krathong, or even the traditional ‘Ram Wong’ dance, without fighting your way through crowds of people outside the hotel grounds. Hotels located along the Chao Phraya River are especially popular and often have loy krathong events combined with a special dinner and fireworks.
- Asiatique (Riverside)
- Wat Saket (Riverside/Old City)
- Phra Athit Pier (Riverside/ Old City)
- Maharaj Lifestyle Mall (Riverside/Old City)
Popular Lakes for Floating Krathongs
- Lumpini Park (Silom)
- Benjasiri Park (Sukhumvit)
- Benjakiti Park (Sukhumvit)
Riverside Hotels with Loy Krathong Events
- Anantara Riverside Bangkok
- Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
- Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel
- Shangri La Hotel Bangkok
Beyond Blocks will be hosting the next major blockchain conference in the heart of Bangkok, at the InterContinental hotel. After this sold-out, record-breaking event in Seoul, the momentum continues it’s way to Bangkok, where the world will witness exactly why Southeast Asia is the region on the rise for blockchain innovation.
Why you need to be at Summit Bangkok:
– Full two-day access to the conference and exhibitions
– World-class speakers and industry leaders
– Meetups, workshops and amazing networking opportunities
– Because Bangkok is one of the liveliest cities in Southeast Asia!