Thailand's 'floating basket' festival muted as country mourns king

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

13 PHOTOS
Floating basket fesitval
See Gallery
Floating basket fesitval
People release floating lanterns during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
TOPSHOT - Novice Buddhist monks sit to pray at Wat Phan Tao temple to mark the beginning of the annual Yi Peng festival in the popular tourist city of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand on November 13, 2016. Restrictions on festivals and celebrations around the country are beginning to ease one month after the death of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the age of 88 on October 13, as authorities try to balance national mourning with the need to capitalise on the current peak tourist season. / AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
People hold up floating lanterns before they release during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
TOPSHOT - People release thousands of paper lanterns to mark the annual Yi Peng festival in the popular tourist city of Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand on November 14, 2016. Tourist arrivals to Thailand have not been hit by a strict mourning period for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, authorities said, as curbs on entertainment and celebration imposed since his death one month ago were eased. / AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA (Photo credit should read LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/AFP/Getty Images)
Buddhist monks pray during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Floating lanterns are pictured during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Buddhist monks hold candles during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People hold up floating lanterns before they release during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Buddhist monks pray during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People release floating lanterns during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People hold up floating lanterns before they release during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
People release floating lanterns during the festival of Yee Peng in the northern capital of Chiang Mai, Thailand November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Celebrations for Thailand's Loy Krathong "floating basket" festival were muted on Monday as the country mourns late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The festival is usually a time when millions of Thais celebrate the end of the so-called rainy season by floating small rafts decorated with candles, incense and flowers.

But the mood in the Thai capital Bangkok was somber on Monday as mourners marked the end of the first month of one year of official mourning for the king, who died on Oct. 13.

Related: Thailand mourns death of world's longest-serving monarch

King Bhumibol was seen by many Thais as a stabilizing force through an era of rapid change and social upheaval in the Southeast Asian nation.

"We have asked for celebrations to be muted this year because this is a sensitive time for the country," Patarut Dardarananda, permanent secretary at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, told Reuters.

"City hall has asked that people not set off fireworks and firecrackers to respect the mourning period."

At Bangkok's famed Lumpini Park, vendors selling the floating baskets were scarce.

"This year is not like most years, we have to be respectful" said vendor Kwanjai Weelai.

The festival is normally a time when Thailand's rivers, lakes and seas are filled with glittering candle-lit floats. It is said to originate from an ancient ritual that paid respects to the water spirits.

Some festival-goers also believe that adding nail clippings or locks of hair to the floats will help to get rid of bad luck.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners