Happy Loy Krathong. Here are your krathong launching locations in Phuket.

Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

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Happy Loy Krathong. That one day of the year where you can celebrate with fireworks, sky lanterns and sparklers. But this year authorities are saying ‘only floating Krathongs thanks’, and preferably no polystyrene or steel pins.

Bangkok’s Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is quoted as saying that only “polite celebrations” should be organised for this year’s festivities. He alluded to the timing of the event, so close to last week’s Royal Cremation.

In Phuket the Provincial Office says fireworks, fire crackers and sky lanterns are prohibited for people’s safety. They say that these are the same guidelines as every year. Entertainment like music and dancing are permitted but the Phuket’s Governor Plodthong is asking people to “be concerned about appropriate celebrations”.

Loi Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand  The name could be translated as “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river. Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar so the exact date of the festival changes every year.

Loy Krathong is celebrated at many of the island’s popular waterways and at many of the beaches. Many hotels also host their own celebrations for their tourist customers. Here are a few of the locations you will be able to launch your own Krathong or buy one on site and watch families and couples launching Krathongs.

Popular locations in Phuket include:

• the lake in Saphan Hin Park

• Suan Luang Park (off Naka Market Road)

• Bang Wad Dam, Kathu

• The recreation lake near Ket Ho Temple in Kathu

• Tin Mine Museum Lake on the Kathu back road

• Nai Harn Lake and Nai Harn Beach

• Bang Maruam near the Alan Cooke Cricket Ground in Thalang

• Laguna (the main lake just inside the entrance)

• Just about anywhere along Patong Beach

Garry Holden from ‘Waking The Thaiger’ on 102.75 says he and his wife will head down to the lake near the Laguna Village to launch their kratong.

Duncan Worthington from Infinity Communications usually goes to the lake at Saphan Hin.

Tim Newton, newsreader on ‘The Thaiger’ is building a krathong at Prince of Songkhla University this afternoon then going down to the recreation lake near Wat Ket Ho to launch with his partner.

Brennan Campbell from FazWaz.com says he and his partner go the little stream in Kamala near the Tsunami Memorial.

Donna Toon from ‘Toon’s Tunes’ on The Thaiger and her family are heading to Laguna as well. Donna says there’s lots of parking in the area they hold the Laguna Marathon each year.

Gerry Mitchell from ‘Afternoons with Gerry’ on 102.75 FM says he and his partner are heading down again to Nai Harn Lake.

On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

We would urge people to consider the environment if you’re making your own Krathong or try and select Krathongs that are made from natural products. Many of the ‘commercial’ Krathongs use poly styrene and pins that end up scattered along our waterways and provide a hazard on the island’s beaches when the Krathongs eventually wash ashore and disintegrate.

- Tim Newton

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