Romance fills subdued Loy Krathong

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Romance prevailed over mourning as Pattaya celebrated Loy Krathong.

Despite official requests to keep festivities to a minimum in respect for the late Supreme Patriarch of Thai Buddhism, locals and tourists celebrated as usual, launching flower-and-incense floats and reveling in Thailand’s version of Valentine’s Day.

Krathongs floated on and above the water all around Pattaya, with vendors offering boats of flowers and incense for as little as 50 baht. Women dressed in traditional Thai costumes and couples waded out into the water to send their romantic wishes afloat.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon release a krathong at Lan Pho Public Park, officially launching this year’s Loy Krathong festival on Sunday, Nov. 17.  Despite requests to keep festivities to a minimum in respect for the late Supreme Patriarch, romance prevailed when locals and tourists celebrated as usual, launching flower-and-incense floats, reveling in the most romantic day in Thailand. Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Deputy Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon release a krathong at Lan Pho Public Park, officially launching this year’s Loy Krathong festival on Sunday, Nov. 17.  Despite requests to keep festivities to a minimum in respect for the late Supreme Patriarch, romance prevailed when locals and tourists celebrated as usual, launching flower-and-incense floats, reveling in the most romantic day in Thailand.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome presided over the city’s official Loy Krathong event at Lan Po Park in Naklua where float-makers competed to see who could produce the most beautiful and creative krathongs.

More than 20 groups of elementary and high school students and the general public vied for prizes as the public snapped photos.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome plants the winning flag onto Wat Photisampan 1 team’s krathong, the winner of krathong contest at the elementary school level.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome plants the winning flag onto Wat Photisampan 1 team’s krathong, the winner of krathong contest at the elementary school level.

The elementary school competition was won by Wat Po 1, with Pikulmuang 8 and Pattaya School No. 2 earning second and third, respectively.

At the high school level, Pattaya School No. 2 won again, with second going to Wat Po 2 and third to Pattaya School No. 5.

The Ratchapreuk team won the public category, followed by the Luang Pho Bunmee and Srong Phra Charoen tea

Good Pattaya citizens buy krathongs made from natural materials hoping to preserve the world’s environment.Good Pattaya citizens buy krathongs made from natural materials hoping to preserve the world’s environment.

In the creative category, Sitsrisattamunee won first, the Prang floral shop second and the Post Office Community third. The winner of each level in both categories received plaques and 10,000 baht, 7,000 baht and 5,000 baht, respectively.

The mayor continued on to Bali Hai Pier for a subdued festival which this year featured only a Young Miss Noppamas contest for young girls. Unlike previous years, there were no cultural no shows and musical performances due to the mourning period.

Members of the Pattaya School No. 2 team giggle with delight after it was announced they won the krathong contest at the high school level.Members of the Pattaya School No. 2 team giggle with delight after it was announced they won the krathong contest at the high school level.

This year’s winner was Fahprathan Polaaharn, 9, who won a 10,000 baht scholarship, plus two more awards for best dress and most talented. Finishing 1st runner-up was Lolna Chairat, 9; 2nd runner-up was Ms. Pischa Saetang, 8; 3rd runner-up went to Yadakul Thanatpon, 7; 4th runner-up was Anyamanee Ellu, 9; and Most Photogenic was Chayanut Thanyahan, 5.

Area hotels held their own private celebrations.

A family prepares to set off a khomloy on Pattaya Beach.A family prepares to set off a khomloy on Pattaya Beach.

Amari Orchid Pattaya carried out the tradition of Loy Krathong festivities at the pool of the hotel, led by GM Brendan Daly, who was joined by guests both Thai and foreign, and all had a great time.

Students play traditional instruments for their Sattahip performance.Students play traditional instruments for their Sattahip performance.

The Pattaya Floating Market also proved a popular dispatch point for krathongs. The amusement attraction organized its own beauty pageant, with Pattreeya Namchaoren, 23, taking first. Ketsiri Suebpheng and Chanita Suankaewmanee took second and third, respectively. Rinjai Sankarabut, 19, was awarded Miss Market Sweetheart.

The night sky is filled with dots of light coming from the thousands of khomloys launched from Pattaya Beach.The night sky is filled with dots of light coming from the thousands of khomloys launched from Pattaya Beach.

Thousands of khomloys fill the night sky.Thousands of khomloys fill the night sky.

Dancers stage a magnificent performance of the ‘Night of Lights’, receiving loud applause from spectators, echoing all over Bali Hai pier, where Pattaya’s Loy Krathong festival was held.Dancers stage a magnificent performance of the ‘Night of Lights’, receiving loud applause from spectators, echoing all over Bali Hai pier, where Pattaya’s Loy Krathong festival was held.

As always, Sattahip puts on a great celebration.As always, Sattahip puts on a great celebration.

Officials in Sattahip launch their krathongs.Officials in Sattahip launch their krathongs.

The Amari Orchid Pattaya staged a traditional old country Loy Krathong celebration.The Amari Orchid Pattaya staged a traditional old country Loy Krathong celebration.

Amari Orchid Pattaya GM Brendan Daly (center) awards winners of the hotel’s Nang Noppamas contest.Amari Orchid Pattaya GM Brendan Daly (center) awards winners of the hotel’s Nang Noppamas contest.

Lovers pose for a memorable photo on this romantic night.Lovers pose for a memorable photo on this romantic night.

Lan Pho Public Park is filled with revelers.Lan Pho Public Park is filled with revelers.

Pattreeya Namchaoren, 23, won the Nang Noppamas contest at Pattaya’s Floating Market.Pattreeya Namchaoren, 23, won the Nang Noppamas contest at Pattaya’s Floating Market.

Chayanut Thanyahan (left), winner of Miss Photogenic, and Fahprahtan Polaaharn (center), winner the Nu Noi Noppamas contest at Bali Hai pier.Chayanut Thanyahan (left), winner of Miss Photogenic, and Fahprahtan Polaaharn (center), winner the Nu Noi Noppamas contest at Bali Hai pier.

Tourists launch a khomloy into the air for good luck on Pattaya Beach.Tourists launch a khomloy into the air for good luck on Pattaya Beach.

Fahprathan Polaaharn (left) won the Nu Noi Noppamas contest at Bali Hai pier, plus two more awards for best dress and most talented. Finishing 1st runner-up was Lolna Chairat (right).Fahprathan Polaaharn (left) won the Nu Noi Noppamas contest at Bali Hai pier, plus two more awards for best dress and most talented. Finishing 1st runner-up was Lolna Chairat (right).

A beautiful young maiden prepares to loy her krathong at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel.A beautiful young maiden prepares to loy her krathong at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel.

Beautiful Nang Noppamas poses at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel.Beautiful Nang Noppamas poses at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel.

People, young and old, enjoy the old country atmosphere.People, young and old, enjoy the old country atmosphere.