The evening of Loi Krathong is one of the most picturesque festivals in Bangkok. It’s when everyone gathers around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respects to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus-shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water. Our local temple has two large ponds on the site and all the locals and neighbouring tambols fill the pond with their Krathongs throughout the night. It’s also fun watching the young kids swimming in the pond and raiding the Krathongs for the few coins people put in their offerings.
In the past, Krathongs were made from natural materials – usually, a section from a banana tree trunk, crafted into a lotus shape by using folded banana leaves, and these can still be found for sale around the main festival sites. More recently, Thais have become more creative in their craft and design the Krathongs from coconut shells, flowers, baked bread, potato slices, some breaking with the conventional lotus leaf shape in favour of turtles and other sea creatures.