Falling on the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai calendar (usually in November) Loy (which in Thai means to float) Krathong (a small raft made of banana leaf, holding a candle and other assorted items) is one of Thailand's most picturesque holidays.
Young and old float their Krathong on rivers, canals and numerous waterways - a cascade of lights accompanied by fireworks and good spirits all around. Floating of the Krathong is symbolic of letting go of one's anger, stress, bad luck and starting life anew.
But this year, with the worst flooding in Thailand's history having taken the lives of over 560 persons and displaced many as their homes were flooded with the water flowing from the northern provinces of Thailand, people in Bangkok will not be celebrating. As a matter of fact, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has asked them not to float Krathongs in the flood waters which have become putrid with garbage, reptiles and even crocodiles which escaped from various crocodile farms.
However, this reporter will be floating his Khratong from a temple in Supan Buri, about 100 miles north of Bangkok. I am a refugee from the Bangkok flood - having been rescued by boat and large 10 wheel trucklast Saturday after living on the 2nd floor of my home for two weeks (with my dog Tryke), my home devastated by flood waters.
This reporter has no choice but to start life afresh.
I'll be floating my Krathong hoping that Phra Mae Khongkha, the Thai Goddess of Water smiles upon me as I and my coworkers start anew.