Chadchart worries about the increase of drowning on Loy Kratong Festival day

Photo by jcomp via Freepik

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt urged people to avoid putting money in banana trunks, or Kratong in Thai, because it encourages coin collectors, especially children, to try and retrieve the money every year on Loy Kratong Day which inevitably leads to a drowning tragedy.

The Loy Kratong Festival will be held across Thailand tomorrow. Almost every temple located near a river, canal or public park will allow people to float their Kratong or banana tree trunks. It’s a centuries-long tradition.

Aside from decorating the trunks with flowers, candles, and incense sticks, money, especially coins, are also added to the trunks. People believe that putting money into Kratong will make them richer in the future.

There are only two places for the money to go once they have been added: to the bottom of a river or a canal or into the pockets of money collectors. The collectors are mostly children and teenagers. They spend all night diving in and out of the water trying to retrieve the banana trunks because they want money, and because of this, the drowning rate in Thailand increases on this day every year.

Chadchart made it known to the public that he did not want people to put money into their Kratong this year, or any year.

“There are no laws banning this action, but the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration would like to ask for cooperation from the people.

“Putting 10 to 20 baht into Kratong is karma, not merit. Children might fight each other for money and drown.”

The Ministry of Public Health revealed some damning drowning statistics during the Loy Kratong Festival from 2017 to 2021. Over those five years, 60 people drowned on Loy Kratong Day, an average of 12 people per year.

It was also revealed that death by drowning is high the day after Loy Kratong Day.

The Ministry of Public Health said most of the deaths were among people aged 45 to 59 years old while 30% of the deaths were children aged under 15 years old. There were more male deaths than females. The reasons for drowning involved alcohol, coin picking, and falling off the riverside banks.

Thailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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