Most reject skipping Loy Krathong to keep waterways clean: Poll

Most reject skipping Loy Krathong to keep waterways clean: Poll

Krathongs are offered for sale at the Pak Khlong Talad in Bangkok in early November. (Bangkok Post photo)
Krathongs are offered for sale at the Pak Khlong Talad in Bangkok in early November. (Bangkok Post photo)

A majority of people reject a suggestion that Thais avoid floating krathongs -- containers made of leaves but often including non-biodegrabale materials -- during the traditional Loy Krathong Festival, and instead collect trash from rivers and canals, according to a survey conducted by Bangkok University, or Bangkok Poll.

The poll was conducted on 1,213 people across the country to gauge their opinions about the suggestion. The pollster did not say who floated the idea.

A total of 63.9% of respondents rejected the suggestion, while 36.1% supported it.

Of the 63.1% opposed, 51.3% said Loy Krathong is a Thai tradition which should be conserved; 7.1% said it has long been regarded as part of Thai identity; and 3.3% thought it wasn't a big deal because Loy Krathong takes place only once a year.

Of the 36.1% who supported the idea, 20.3% said people should forego the festival to avoid adding more trash into rivers and canals; 13.6% said doing so would be a show of gratitude to rivers and canals; and 2.0% said Loy Krathong now can be celebrated by using online apps.

Asked whether they would take part in this year's Loy Krathong, 43.2% said they would do so on the basis of one-family-one-krathong; 12.3% said each celebrant should have their own krathong; and 7.1% said they would go to watch but would not float a krathong. Another 37.4% said they would not celebrate the festival because they would be busy doing something else or they attach no importance to the festival.

Of those planning to celebrate the festival, 49.4% said they would make a krathong by themselves with natural materials; 47.0% said they would buy a krathong made of biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials; and 2.2% said they would buy a krathong based on its beauty. 

The centuries-old Loy Krathong Festival dates back centuries and is held annually on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. This year's festival falls on Monday, Nov 11.


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