Today is the Loy Krathong festival. Thai people make (or buy ready made) these Krathongs. It's the end of the rainy season and they make a wish and launch them onto water – canals, rivers or ponds – (in our apartment’s case they’re being launched onto the pool this evening.) By paying respects to the water spirits it is believed that the krathong carries away sins and bad luck and will fulfill the wishes for the New Year.
On the streets today I’ve seen krathongs made from bread, banana tree trunk but the bases can also be Styrofoam. They are decorated with folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks – sometimes a low value coin is included as an offering to the river spirits.