Loy Krathong to be held on schedule

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Although organizers are being asked to somewhat mute the celebrations, officials announced that Loy Krathong will be held on its scheduled date, Nov. 17.  An unnamed Tourism of Thailand official initially threw the date into confusion, announcing last week that the TAT would not participate in the Loy Krathong celebrations due to the mourning period for Thai Buddhism’s supreme patriarch.

After initially announcing a mourning period from Oct. 25 to Nov. 8 for Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Royal Family added another 15 days to period, running through Nov. 23.

Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome tells reporters that Loy Krathong will not be cancelled this year.Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome tells reporters that Loy Krathong will not be cancelled this year.

Royal Thai Police have “asked” bars and entertainment venues from organizing festive occasions during this period.  However, so far, not much has changed in the entertainment zones.

“The community in Pattaya is now asking if the Loy Krathong festival goes on, will it be appropriate? Will the celebration be against the government’s edicts,” said Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome. “But according to the Ministry of Culture, it is still appropriate for the festival to continue this year.”

Itthiphol said the city’s 100,000-baht krathong contest at Lan Po Park and the tradition sales and floating of the tiny flower-and-incense baskets will be allowed on area beaches.

“This means residents and tourists will still be able to participate in the annual festival as usual,” he said.

The fate of the many concerts, beauty contests and other normal Loy Krathong levity is still uncertain, however, the mayor said.  City hall is checking with contractors and discussing what they have planned for the entertainment.

As another show of respect, government employees are being asked wear black or dark colors during the morning period.

Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, who was born in 1913 as Charoen Gajavatra, died of a blood infection at age 100 in Bangkok Oct. 24. He was bestowed the title of His Holiness Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thai Sangha on April 21, 1989, the 19th Supreme Patriarch of the Ratanakosin Era.