Monday, November 22, 2010

Ecologically unfriendly festival

In the past few years, I have started to feel uneasy about Loy Kratong festival in Thailand. The latest figure in the news confirmed my gut feeling. This year, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration officials have harvested almost a million Kratong floats from river and canals in Bangkok: 946,838 floats as of 3 a.m. today to be exact. (I am amazed that how exact they could have counted those ! I 'll ignore a possibility that they did not miscount a few.)  And about 12 % of those are made of styrofoam which is not bio-degradable.

For hundreds of year in Thailand, Loy Kratong festival is a beautiful festival on a December 's full-moon night when people, few thousands I guess, would bring their small floats made of banana leaf, with flowers, lit candle, and incensed stick to beg pardon from angle of the river. It 's a rare traditional good chance for boys to meet girls at night.  Nowadays, however, people attending the festival are in the tune of a million, or 3 fold order of magnitude (1000 x) more. So this the the amount of float garbage is now a big environmental burden to the river and needs to be cleaned up by the city within hours after people went home. I often sighed in my thought at this ceremony around this time of the year.

Despite the complain above about it, I have not started complaining of my dislike of another more dangerous floating (into the air) festival yet, called Yipeng floating.

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