Last night was the beginning of the Loy Kratong ‘season’ of events, with a Buddhist ceremony and a mass release of lanterns. This is actually a separate ceremony from Loy Kratong and is part of a Kathin ceremony, in which robes are offered to monks within a month of the end of Buddhist lent.
This event is free to attend, but a repeat event in November is a charged tourist event – and probably where the confusion comes from.
Anyway… this is no small deal, thousands attend, with all the surrounding paraphernalia: food markets, toy sales, drinks stalls… It gets crowded, very crowded, and you need to be there late afternoon to get a good spot.
Its a long ceremony, but the lantern release is breathtaking and truly spectacular…