Fancy celebrating Loy Krathong without the use of actual krathongs due to environmental concerns?
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has invited the public to join in on the digital Loy Krathong celebration at the Khlong Ong Ang Walking Street this evening in an effort to minimize waste.
How does this work? Well, there is no need to purchase the decorated floats. Instead, people can head to the walking street where the canal is now covered with a canvas that sits just below the water surface. The krathongs would then be projected onto the canvas digitally, mimicking their movements in the water.
At the site, people are encouraged to choose and design their krathongs on prepared paper, adding colors, writing names, and expressing wishes. After designing the krathong, they can scan a QR code that they can send to a system where visitors can see their customized Krathong float onto the digital canvas, lighting up the canal. This experimental approach aims to minimize waste in the river while retaining the traditional essence of Loy Krathong.
The virtual Krathongs can be viewed at the Walking Street today at 6pm until midnight.
In addition, Chadchart said people can also create their digital Krathongs from home through a QR code provided in the Traffy Fondue app.
Over the years, krathongs have become a source of waste, with tons of its materials clogging up many of Thailand’s waterways and sewers.
Previous alternative solutions included using banana leaves and biodegradable materials, yet there were lingering concerns over harm to aquatic life as it usually takes several days for city officials to clean up the waste.
The act of releasing krathong, which symbolizes the expulsion of misfortunes and a tribute to the Goddess of Water, continues to be divisive. While some people are calling for its end due to the pollution risk, many continue to celebrate the age-old tradition.