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Loi Krathong The Nightmare Before Christmas

After you've done the various festivals in Thailand once the second time it loses it's charm, by the third time you've done Loi Krathong and Songkran festivals you've had just about enough. For me the Loi Krathong Festival is one of the worst, some say songkran is but that's just water being thrown around, this time it's fire crackers even more dangerous.

Since I live in Chiang Mai the Loi Krathong festival here gets out of control, Chiang Mai records the most number of deaths for either occasion and there is a good reason why. They are nuts! Absolutely out of their minds with the fireworks and water.Things are so bad i've even got a map for you for no go zones in Chiang Mai during the Loi Kratong estival.

View No Go Zones In Chiang Mai in a larger map
The Loi Krathong festival lost it's charm for me last year when I went down to the Narawat bridge in Chiang Mai. What a mistake that was. Looked like a scene out of Kabul. There were people shooting rockets from one side of the river to try to reach the people on the other side of the river. There were massive explosions left right and center, trying to cross the damn bridge was like walking through a mine field. No wonder so many people get hurt.
Loi Krathong Fireworks

There is a somewhat romantic air about the Loi Krathong festival, but only if you were sitting on top of the mountain away from it looking down at it. Looks wonderful especially in Chiang Mai the birthplace of the Khom Loi (the lanterns they float in the sky) and thousands of them floating in the sky is magical, but how the damn firecrackers got into this Thai tradition.

When I was young we used to have what is called Firecracker night. I believe it was the same night as halloween but honestly can't remember. We don't celebrate or do anything for Halloween in Australia but we did have firecracker night. Around 20 years ago though they brought in new legislation which basically banned anyone from buying and using firecrackers without a license so therefore the whole decades old celebration of firecracker night died with it. Will that eventually be the same in Thailand? Will they ever ban the sale and use of firecrackers without a license? Somehow I believe that day is still centries away.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

2 Responses to Loi Krathong The Nightmare Before Christmas

  1. Banjo December 20, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    It’s nice out in the villages, people go down to the klong with their krathongs and the more affluent set their balloons adrift.
    The fireworks are mainly restricted to the football ground where they village council puts on a display but the kids always seem to have a few crackers for the week or so before.

    Songkran is better out of town as well, the kids throw a bit of water and the locals drink with their friends at home, nothing like the drunken aquatic frenzy in the cities.

    The worst firework behaviour I’ve experienced is in the Philippines at New Year, where the death toll is usually over 50 nationwide and uncounted injuries, all from fireworks and celebration gunfire from police and security guards.

    • Chris December 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      I couldn’t agree more, getting out of town is the best idea, find a small village and drink with family and friends. Only problem is I don’t really know anyone who lives in a small village….

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