Over three quarters (77.3%) of people surveyed in a recent poll, conducted by Bangkok Poll, said that they will not take part the Loy Krathong festival today (Friday), citing COVID-19 concerns. 74.4% said they are also worried that the annual festival will result in new infection clusters.
In a poll, conducted between November 15th and 17th among 1,184 people across the country and released today, it has been found that the pandemic, which has wreaked havoc since early last year, remains a major concern and significant factor preventing people from going out to crowded places, despite the easing of restrictions. 61.1% of the people polled said they may opt to float their Krathongs on nearby canals to avoid the crowds.
The “new normal” lifestyle means that 8.5% of those surveyed said they will celebrate the occasion “online”, while 22% said they no longer attach any importance to the festival, which has been observed for centuries. 71.8% also believe the fun aspects of the festival will be reduced due to the pandemic.
The survey results reflect Suan Dusit’s poll, in which 66% of people surveyed said they will not take part in this year’s festival.
Loy Krathong is a time to offer apologies to the Hindu Goddess Ganga, for polluting the rivers, and to drive away their sins by releasing Krathongs, or “floating baskets”, into the rivers, ponds or canals.
The festival is usually accompanied by beauty pageants,traditional Thai festivities and, occasionally, fireworks. Concerns over environmental damage caused by polystyrene Krathongs have prompted a ban on them in several places, with vendors offering people more environmentally friendly options, like those made from banana leaves or bread.