Loi Krathong 2017 goes well a year after King’s death

This years annual Loi Krathong 2017 festival took on a special meaning – it’s the first major celebration since the king of Thailand died last October.

There was lots of colour across the country, with Thais and tourists taking part in the traditional activity of releasing candles and baskets of flowers into the water.

It’s believed to set free the bad luck from the previous year and bring good fortune for the year ahead.

However, the activities were still toned down somewhat. Festivities stayed low key this year, out of respect for the late monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej, authorities in the capital said.

‘We will not have excessive celebrations but will focus more on showcasing Thai culture,’ Chalermpon Chotinuchit, of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), told Reuters.

Participants in the festival pay respects to the water spirits, floating small, traditionally-hand crafted rafts carrying flowers, bamboo and candles on waterways in an ancient ritual.

Two people pray as they prepare to release flowers into the sea during the Loi Krathong festival in Pattaya on November 3, 2017

Two people pray as they prepare to release flowers into the sea during the Loi Krathong festival in Pattaya on November 3, 2017

The rafts are also thought to carry away bad luck and usher in good fortune during the festival, which is celebrated all over Thailand, but is particularly spectacular in the north.

If you’re in Thailand during the time of the Loi Krathong festival – it falls every year on November 3 – it is well worth taking part.

The feeling of millions of people from all walks of life all taking part in the shared cultural activity is something special.

People on Jomtien Beach in Pattaya take part in Loi Krathong 2017 festival

People on Jomtien Beach in Pattaya take part in Loi Krathong 2017 festival

A stall with some decoratively arranged flower baskets and candles for floating out into the sea during Loi Krathong 2017

A stall with some decoratively arranged flower baskets and candles for floating out into the sea during Loi Krathong 2017

If you head to the park in Bangkok near the Terminal 21 interchange and mall, there are tens of thousands of people releasing the bamboo baskets into the lake.

It costs just 50 to 100 baht for one of the sets of flowers and some small sparklers to light and send into the water.

Make a wish, and who knows good fortune could follow!

Check out the rest of our pictures from the Loi Krathong 2017 festival on Jomtien beach in Pattaya.

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