CHIANG MAI – Traditional activities to mark the 12th lunar month, including Yi Peng in Chiang Mai and Loy Krathong, will go ahead, but in a sombre manner to show respect for the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Chiang Mai governor Pawin Chamniprasart said there would be no spectacular fireworks displays, concerts or beauty contests.
He said he had a meeting on Monday with Tassanai Buranapakorn, the Chiang Mai mayor, and representatives of the provincial tourism and sports office, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai office, and Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association at the city hall to discuss the traditional Yi Peng Festival.
The festival was originally set for Nov 13-15, but was called off by Chiang Mai Municipality after the passing of the King on Oct 13 and the government’s declaration of a 30-day period without any form of festivities or entertainment.
The meeting agreed in principle that traditional activities such as the floating of krathongs, the krathong contest and th decorations of city and temple gates and buildings could go ahead. But floating lanterns must be made with white or grey paper only.
There would be no fireworks, concerts or beauty contest that normally mark the festival.
The meeting’s resolution would be forwarded to the Chiang Mai Tourism Development Committee for consideration in its meeting on Oct 21.
The Chiang Mai governor said the resolution was based on an Interior Ministry letter dated Oct 16 and signed by permanent interior secretary Grisda Boonrat.
The letter contained guidelines for activities. All provinces can still hold an annual fair or a Red Cross fair, as originally scheduled. Traditional krathin and thod pha pa ceremonies are also allowed as usual, but these activities must be without any form of entertainment.
Private individuals can still hold wedding and ordination ceremonies as well as sports events but these activities must be without a musical show or other forms of entertainment, the letter said.
In Sukhothai, provincial governor Piti Kaewsalabsi on Tuesday said the committee on the 2016 Loy Krathong Festival had agreed to cancel it this year as the country is still in mourning. The festival had been scheduled for Nov 10-14. It is usually fun-filled, with contests and entertainment.
The traditional floating of krathongs can be done as usual, but without fanfare.
Mr Piti said he had asked Sukhothai Historical Park officials to allow people and tourists to enter the park free of charge to float their krathongs between Nov 10-14 from 6pm to midnight.