Thais give digital spin to ancient 'floating basket' festival

A woman carrying a "Krathong" or floating basket to release into the Chao Phraya river during the annual Loy Krathong festival celebrations in Bangkok. The Loy Krathong festival, celebrated in Thailand by releasing decorative baskets into rivers and ponds, was given an environmentally sustainable twist in the Thai capital on November 27 as clean-up workers removed the floats from waterways and digital projections sought to replace the still-popular traditional physical offerings. - AFP

BANGKOK (Reuters): Thai children crafted virtual rafts and sent them floating down digital rivers, in an environmentally friendly version of an ancient festival.

Over the centuries, people have sent 'krathongs' - small, baskets made from plants and loaded with flowers, candles and bamboo - down waterways to make wishes and pay their respects to water spirits.

The beautiful 'floating basket' or Loy Krathong festival lights up Bangkok's canals and rivers at night - but often leaves organisers scrabbling to clear canals clogged up with hundreds of thousands of soggy vessels the next morning.

This year participants did their best to cut down on the clean-up by drawing about 3,000 pictures of 'krathongs' and scanning them into computers during the festivities.

The designs were then projected onto a colourful representation of the water's surface.

"It really helps a lot, because it reduces cutting trees. When you float (the real baskets) things fall into the water. This will help reduce waste," said 11-year-old Jirayada Surapant, showing off her design by a Bangkok canal on Monday evening.

There was still a lot to do on Tuesday morning.

Across the capital, monks set out in row boats to scoop up the physical krathongs and recycle them into animal feed.

"The trash will end up in the sea, at the river mouths, completely filling them," venerable monk Mathee Vatchara Prachatorn said, perched on the side of a boat.

"To reduce trash, everybody has to pitch in, all the villages have to help."

(Reporting by Napat Wesshasartar, Artorn Pookasook and Thomas Suen; Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng, Edited by Andrew Heavens) - Reuters

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Aseanplus News

Over a million stimulant pills, 2.48 kilos of Happy Water seized in Shan State
Oil edges up after OPEC+ extends output cuts through second quarter
Rihanna, Shah Rukh Khan among celebs invited to celebrate Asia's richest man's son's prenuptials
Govt still studying GST while reviewing tax structure, says Amir Hamzah
Marcos govt capped 2023 with fatter borrowings
Cricket-Australia's Green may focus on red ball cricket before India challenge
Schools have guidelines to cope with heatwave during Ramadan, says Education DG
Police to record Hadi’s statement tomorrow, says top cop
Taylor Swift’s mum spent her childhood in Singapore
Singaporean man caught trying to illegally enter Malaysia in a car boot

Others Also Read