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Bangkok Governor warns of stiff penalty for Loy Krathong fireworks

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Fireworks are not allowed in Bangkok on Loy Krathong.

The celebration of the national holiday Loy Krathong is coming up on November 19, but Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang warns people to avoid the sale and use of fireworks, firecrackers and lanterns this year. The holiday is a modern take on a tradition dating to the 13th-century Sukhothai kingdom where people launch little boats called Krathong on waterways as a tribute to the water goddess Mae Konka, but recent celebrations have involved brighter and louder displays of firecrackers and fireworks.

This year, despite Covid-19, a large turnout is expected of both Thais and foreigners to celebrate across the country, especially around the Chao Phraya River that runs through Bangkok. Governor Aswin is reminding people head of the holiday that each year the city suffers property damage, injuries, and even death at the hands of unpermitted fireworks and firecrackers.

Many foreigners in the past have expressed shock at how nonchalantly these explosives are handled in Thailand, even in crowds, during holidays and celebrations. This year, Aswin hopes to change that and vowed to have the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration investigating sales and distribution of fireworks in the weeks leading up to Loy Krathong and will also have staff roaming the area of celebration looking for violators of the ban on fireworks and firecrackers.

Aswin reminds people celebrating that there are harsh penalties for those who set off fireworks without permission. The law allows for punishment of up to 60,000 baht and 3 years in jail for those use of fireworks and 6,000 baht and 3 months in jail for those who use Chinese firecrackers without approval.



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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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