BANGKOK – Thailand celebrated on Thursday evening a traditional religious festival involving hundreds of thousands of floral baskets loaded with offers, incense, candles, colored paper, coins, even locks of hair, which are later gently released into its many rivers, channels, and waterways as a divine offering seeking divine blessings.
The Loy Krathong Festival can be translated as “to float a basket,” and that is precisely it, a small floating receptacle made with a banana tree trunk and leaves in the shape of a vessel.
The Thai people release these offerings into the water to thank their blessings during the Monsoon period and also beg Buddha, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, and the water Goddess Mae Khongkha, for those blessings to continue during the dry season.
The most popular places during the festival are Bangkok’s river Chao Phraya and the temples lining its banks.
The festivity coincided with the full moon of the 12th month of the Buddhist calendar marking the end of the monsoon period and the start of the dry season.
Each year, just on the banks of the river Chao Phraya and nearby canals, over half a million Krathongs are re-collected after the Festival.