Nothing to celebrate in Bangkok as Loy Krathong events canceled

Nothing to celebrate in Bangkok as Loy Krathong events canceled

Official festival events are off in the flooded city but public parks are still open for "floating"
Loy Krathong Bangkok
Loy Krathong participants ask water spirits to sail away their troubles in their "krathongs," which are traditionally made of banana leaves carrying offerings of incense, flowers and small amounts of money.

Loy Krathong is usually one of Thailand's most widely celebrated events, a means of releasing one's accumulated bad vibes to the waters in the form of floating floral arrangements -- the krathongs -- which are topped with candles and incense. 

All over the country, Thais head to their nearest body of water after sunset to carry out this ritual on the full moon of the 12th lunar month, which falls on November 10 this year.

According to tradition, the floating offerings are made to Mae Khongkha -- Mother of Waters -- in an expression of gratitude for providing life-sustaining water throughout the year. 

But more than a few locals have been quick to point out the irony of it all. Due to the ongoing flood situation, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has canceled the official events planned for this year's Loy Krathong festival in Bangkok. 

City parks open for Loy Krathong

Regardless, many residents are still expected to celebrate on their own, prompting city authorities to warn locals not to release their krathongs in flood waters, as this could pose a fire risk if they float into homes, and to stay away from the Chao Phraya River and city canals, where the currents are unusually strong. 

According to The Nation, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will open up to 16 unaffected public parks for the Loy Krathong festival so that people can float their krathongs safely, including Lumpini, Benjakiti and Benjasiri parks. 

Despite the cancelations in Bangkok, official Loy Krathong festivals are still taking place all over Thailand in cities like Sukhothai, Chiang Mai and Tak.  

For more on Loy Krathong visit www.loikrathong.net, which features articles on the history of the ritual, the various festivals held in different provinces, accommodation options and a guide on how to make your own krathongs.

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