One of the most colorful holidays and celebrations in Thailand is Loy Kratong when the original banana leaves floats with flowers, candles, coins and bits and pieces of hair and fingernails are set afloat on water in the parks and of course in the river.
This year was a bit different with November 14 – the super full moon, where was it again? – being the last day of the initial 30-day mourning period and hence the last day of the ban on parties, festivities and electronic advertisements. The government allowed 30 parks to be opened for the celebration of thanking the river goddess and water for what they have to endure during 12 months and to let go of some bad thoughts and stuff. Or simply an excuse to have a nice dinner with friends and family after the Kratongs are on their ways.
In recent years complaints were raised about polluting the water (even further) with the floats made of Styrofoam, so new inventions e.g. floats of bread and this year even small ice floats popped up that eventually dissolve in the water without doing any harm.
During that evening the river shore is awfully crowded with thousands of people trying to set out their floats, so I tried to avoid the mayhem and got off on “my” side of the river. From the sky train station to my condo, I only had to doge the traffic.
At home I contemplated the Loy Kratong festivities that I had already experienced since I live in Thailand by looking at some pictures. The colorful, noisy boat parade that usually takes place a day prior to the celebration was definitely missing this year, and no other loud music floated up from the dark waters of the Chao Phraya. On the far shore a few flower floats with candles were bobbing lazily up and down on the quiet water.
Report from the palace front: the flowers that people lay down near the Grand Palace walls are collected at the end of each day and will be used as fertilizer in numerous parks throughout the city since there are tons and tons.