Also present were Region 8 Police Deputy Commander Maj Gen Chalit Kaewyarat, while forming the ranks of the assembly were officers the Phuket Provincial Police, Tourist Police, Immigration Police, Marine Police, Forensic Police, Highway Police, and others.
Gen Chalit ordered all police in Phuket to be on standby in case of emergency and to strengthen their stance in preserving the lives and property of citizens during the upcoming festivities.
“The important measure is to raise security to prevent crime, which should not happen during the Loy Krathong,” he said.
Gen Chalit, who presided over the assembly, added, “From today onwards officers will be on the ready to ensure the safety of people and keep the law strictly. During this period we will continue to carry out the arrests of criminals and prevent crime in general.”
Loy Krathong is one of the most important days in the Thai calendar, occurring on the full moon day of the 12th lunar month, during the ‘high water’ season when water overflows the banks of rivers and canals.
During the annual Thai festival, people floating krathong – traditionally on rivers, but now also on any body of water. Krathong are floating ornamental objects, traditionally made from banana leaves and flowers, on which candles, incense and other small items are placed to be given as an offering to the river goddess Phra Mae Khongkha in the hope of bringing good fortune.
Last year, the Interior Ministry laid down the law and warned that anyone caught using fireworks, firecrackers or other prohibited items during Loy Krathong faced up to three years in prison and a B60,000 fine. (See story here.)
So far this year no such order has been given, though authorities at Phuket International Airport have already warned that releasing khom loy – or ‘sky lanterns’ – is banned anywhere near the airport.
Meanwhile, Rawai Municipality has announced its schedule of festivities for Loy Krathong, to be held at Nai Harn Lake Park.
Among the festivities will be a concert by Northeastern-style singer Od Lakana next Monday (Nov 19), and a concert by the band Haupan Music next Tuesday (Nov 20), with another concert by New Year Haithongkham music band next Wednesday (Nov 21).
The main festivities will be held next Thursday and Friday (Nov 22-23), as Loy Krathong itself falls on Nov 22, with competitions and fun-filled activities and concerts held from 7pm until midnight on both nights.
The final round of the Thai traditional music contest and the traditional ‘Nang Nopphamas’ beauty pageant will be held on the night of Nov 22, along with a ‘Most Creative Krathong’ contest and a concert by the Guitar Soda music band.
Festivities for Loy Krathong will be held all across the island, with other municipalities to hold their own activities, details of which are expected to be announced soon.
Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot