The krathong are both signs of respect to the goddess of the water, and apologies to the River Goddess for polluting her waters during the year. Throughout the years of evolution, the krathong raft is now often made out of bread or Styrofoam as an alternative form.
In fact, the more environmentally conscious krathong-makers now use bread, which dissolves faster than banana leaves so that, after the festival, waterways aren’t left crowded with abandoned rafts.
In addition, the bread raft will become food for the fishes and other animals living in the river.
- Some people also add a lock of hair or a fingernail clipping to their krathong in a symbolic gesture of atonement, releasing them from the previous year’s misfortunes and to signify a fresh start for the coming year
- Others may make wishes on their krathong, then watch them as they float away. If their candles stay alight, it means good fortune for the year ahead
- Thai couples also keep an eye on their krathong, as tradition holds that if two lovers’ krathong float down the river together, the couple will stay together