Prominent Loy Krathong festival celebrations planned in several provinces have been cancelled as the nation mourns the passing of His Majesty the King.
Sukhothai governor Piti Kaeo-salapsi said the province’s plan to celebrate the Loy Krathong festival on Nov 10-14 was now off, although locals can float their own krathong as usual. Sukhothai, where the Loy Krathong ceremony is said to have originated some 700 years ago, is one of the most popular destinations for visitors during the festival.
In Tak province, long renowned for its unique Loy Krathong Sai festival, in which candle-lit krathong bowls are launched into the river in an seemingly endless line, also announced parts of the festival initially planned for Nov 12-17 would be called off. Muang Tak municipality mayor Ananchai Thawikeuakit said the locals had agreed to launch 999 krathong bowls in the Ping River in a solemn rite to remember the late King Rama IX and join the nation in mourning his death.
In Chiang Mai, traditional activities to mark the 12th lunar month, including Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, will go ahead, but in a sombre manner. Chiang Mai governor Pawin Chamniprasart said there would be no spectacular fireworks displays, concerts or beauty contests.
He said he had met Tassanai Buranapakorn, the Chiang Mai mayor, and the provincial tourism and sports office, the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Chiang Mai office, and Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association to discuss the traditional Yi Peng Festival.
The festival was originally set for Nov 13-15, but was called off by the municipality after the passing of the King last Thursday and the government’s declaration of a 30-day mourning period without any form of festivities or entertainment.
The meeting agreed in principle that traditional activities such as the floating of krathong, the krathong contest and 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 contests that normally showcase the festival.