Going out for lunch one day a couple a weeks ago we noticed that there were a lot more people out on the streets including a lot of street vendors selling flower arrangements with candles. The restaurant we had lunch at was in the Emporium Shopping center with a view out over Benchasiri Park and from there we could see that the park was especially busy that day. Deciding to investigate we visited the park and we certainly didn’t regret that decision.
In the park there were several families and couples that were there to let a flower arrangement float on the lake dominating the park. Very beautiful.
It turns out the ritual is part of a celebration called Loy Krathong. To cite one of the sources I could find explaining it:
People look forward to going out and launching Krathongs together to predict their romance future by the direction the Krathongs float. However, this season is also good for strengthening relationship in the family.
The floating of a Krathong is signifies floating away ill fortune as well as expressing apologies to Khongkha or Ganga, the River Goddess.
Realising that this ritual would be even more beautiful at night we returned to the park after dark. The crowd didn’t disappoint us – they launched thousands of “Krathongs” (as the floating flower arrangements are called).