BANGKOK — Thais took a break from the stress of the economic slump, coronavirus pandemic, and series of protests by giving a double celebration to Loy Krathong and Halloween on Saturday.
This year’s Loy Krathong is not only rare because it falls on the same night of the Western ghost festival, but also because of the visible lack of foreign tourists, thanks to the border lockdown brought about by the global pandemic.
Many Thais also forewent Loy Krathong altogether this year, preferring to stay home or write Loy Krathong messages online, due to the lingering threats of the coronavirus and growing environmental concerns associated with the festival.
Still, a number of communities across the country were committed to having fun on the “Full Moon of the 12th Month” as in previous years. Some even celebrated the occasion a day early, on Oct. 30.
An activist lights a krathong on Oct. 31, 2020, close to the Vibhavadi Road footbridge in Bangkok where taxi driver Nuamthong Praiwan hangs himself in 2006 to protest the military coup that year.
A photo released by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration shows city workers retrieving krathongs from Chao Phraya River on Oct. 31, 2020.
A contestant for a traditional Loy Krathong’s Miss Noppamas pageant shows off her gymnastic skill on Oct. 31, 2020, at Nang Khan Chan Tri Temple in Pathum Thani.
Krathong vendors wear Halloween haunting makeup on Oct. 31, 2020, at a Loy Krathong fair on the bank of Mekong River in Nongkhai.
A troupe performs “Nang Talung” or traditional shadow play on Oct. 31, 2020, during a Loy Krathong festival held at Sanam Chai Temple in Ang Thong province.
Staff at a bar in Ranong province dress up as ghosts on Oct. 31, 2020, to celebrate Loy Krathong and Halloween festivals.
Medical workers at Queen Savang Vadhana Memorial Hospital in Chonburi province hand out krathongs to patients on Oct. 30, 2020, in celebration of the Loy Krathong festival.
A light and sound show kicks off the Loy Krathong celebration on Oct. 30, 2020, in Ratchaburi.
Celebrity actress Davika “Mai” Hoorne is carried to a Loy Krathong ceremony organized by tourism authorities in Ayutthaya on Oct. 30, 2020.
Revelers float their krathongs in Kalasin province on Oct. 31, 2020.
Floating a krathong at a temple is so mainstream. How about floating one inside the temple itself? Worshipers lay down krathongs on Oct. 30, 2020, inside the chapel at Wat Khao Din Praiwan in Sukhothai province per a local tradition.