This past weekend, on a rainy and cold Saturday night, was the Loy Krathong event at the Wat Monkolratanaram Thai Temple in Tampa, Florida. Parking was backed up all the way to the highway on the west side of Palm River Road, but luckily I was able to create my own parking space once in the temple parking lot. Attendees were inside the beautiful temple, feeding on the amazing food assortment that the vending area, and lining up along the bridge to watch as the floating flower boats were released into the Palm River.
Loy Karthong is celebrated annually in Thailand and a few other countries. The festivities take place on the full moon in November where baskets are floated into the water with a wish or prayer given to each basket. Some sources say that this ritual evolved from an ancient offering to the river spirits.
Me being the curious adventurer that I am, I decided to take a walk over the bridge onto the dock where the boats were being released from to get a better video. The bridgecollapsed under my feet and dumped myself and about a dozen other folks intothe saltwater river. The video camera was totally ruined, filled with saltwater. And, so were my high-top sneakers that I paid a pretty penny for. Thankfully, no one was hurt that badly. But, I managed to save the data disc from the inside to bring you this footage.
It took about fifteen minutes before some of the staff at the temple put down a ladder of some sort and then put plywood boards across that. Everyone on the dock walked over one by one until we were all safe on shore. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, the fire trucks showed up.
The next time I return to The Wat, it will be for their Sunday Market and I will not be going back out on the docks anytime soon.