The Kingdom of Thailand has been mourning for the passing of King BhumibolAdulyadej last year on October. Since then, celebrations and events in the country is either toned down or cancelled. A few weeks ago, the cremation funeral was held for the late King. Celebrations and events are back in their usual festive spirit that tourists flocked to Chiang Mai Riverside Hotel in order to witness the most recent floating basket festival or locally known as Loy Krathong.
Once the funeral which lasted for five days ended, the mourning period was also over. Majority of the locals have started donning colored clothing since they had to wear black for the past 12 months.
During the festival, an ancient ritual was conducted nhonor of the water spirits. Participants placed traditional and handmade miniature rafts in the water while it carries candles, flowers and bamboo.
The ritual of the rafts done every festival is believed to carry with it all the bad luck while attracting the good fortune. Loy Krathongis celebrated in every part of Thailand but the northern part always does the most spectacular floating basket.
Authorities from the capital have indicated that despite their return, festivals for the remaining months of this year should be toned down as a sign of respect to the late King.
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s ChalermponChotinuchit said that celebrations will not be as luxurious yet but they will be highlighting them to represent more of the culture of Thailand.
Before the Loy Krathong, the BMA has already advised participants to only release rafts that are made of natural materials because environmental groups have already expressed their concerns regarding non-biodegradable wastes that are obstructing the drains and rivers.
Locals expressed their sadness despite the celebration because many of them loved the late King.
Thai Airways International, a national carrier, practiced safety measures by cancelling some of their trips to and fro Chiang Mai and Bangkok for two days.
Aside from Lo Krathong which attracts tourists to Chiang Mai Riverside Hotel, Yi Peng is also celebrated in the northern city. This is a festival where participants release lit lanterns into the night sky.