PATTAYA – Spirits, not lanterns, were flying high at Pattaya celebrated its first real Loy Krathong in two years.
On the beaches, in parks and at temples, people launched their floating flower arrangements with wishes for love and happiness over the next year. Conspicuously absent were the hot-air lanterns and fireworks that typically punctuate the Valentine’s type Day of the Thai calendar.
It was the first real celebration of the Thai day of love since 2015, since activities were canceled last year following the death of HM King Rama IX.
Pattaya City Hall fully embraced this year’s celebration, however, organizing a Loy Krathong party at Lan Po Public Park, complete with a pond for floating krathongs, a traditional Likay drama team led by Eakapong Singwijan, and a late-night concert from country singer Takkatan Chonlada.
Couple and families also swarmed to Pattaya’s beaches to set their krathongs to sea. Pattaya City Hall had encouraged everyone to use natural materials so as not to damage the marine ecosystem or pollute the ocean.
Area temples including Chaimongkol, Nongyai Mabprachan and others also were buzzing with cultural fairs for the evening.
Again, the skies over temples and parks remained clear, showing the National Council for Peace and Order’s directive against sales of fireworks and flying lanterns worked.
Police patrolled the beaches and communities to enforce the rule and the total number spotted around Pattaya appeared to total less than a tenth of past years.
Police also were busy cracking down on youths showing off for their lovers on loud motorbikes. Chonburi police reported several arrests of motorbike gang members racing at high speeds to prove their bravado.