Instead of Thanksgiving, November in Thailand is known for Yi Peng and Loi Krathong. As turkey is to Thanksgiving, sky lanterns and floating lanterns are to these celebrations. My students spent an afternoon making “krathongs” to release on the Ping that evening.
There are various beliefs about the release of the lantern or krathong but in general, it is considered a way to let go of misfortune and any bad things of the past year.
Thousands of lanterns and krathongs were released around the the city. Some more successfully than others.
Secondly, instead of the vibrant colors and base of gold you’d expect to see on the parade floats and participants, this year only the colors of mourning were on display.
I was a little awed that they managed it in just 4 weeks for all the floats and traditional garments. Back in New Orleans, krewes would start sewing costumes and building floats 6 months before the parades.
I got the impression that Loi Krathong is generally a magical sight of floating dreams, spirituality, and of course, many smiles… but I felt this year was especially stunning and I was fortunate to be here to experience it.