Chiang Mai Lantern Festival (Yi Peng Festival)
Yi Peng festival is the Thai festival that illuminates the sky with hundreds and hundreds of fiery lanterns that transform the sky into a sea of light.
The Lantern Festival is a magical and spectacular festival. It has its variants in every area of the country. The Loi Krathong and Yi Peng Festival are perhaps the most well-known festivals in the Northern Thailand. The main difference between the ways of interpreting both festivals is the lanterns themselves. In Loi Krathong they are floated in the water but Yi Peng is fired up in the sky.
Chiang Mai is the center of Yi Peng which the largest number of lanterns flash and the sky lit literally of gold and red. Lanterns are allowed to rise in the sky after a small prayer or a wish is made for goodwill and liberation.
The Light Festival is a religious ceremony in which tribute to Buddha. The exact date of the festival is usually announced a few weeks before the start, even if calculating its time is not difficult. The festival usually begins with the first full moon of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar.
A week after the traditional celebration, Chiang Mai usually hosts a second edition of the festival, especially for foreign visitors. The ceremony is in English and most visitors can enjoy the preparation of lanterns, dinner, and cushions for seating. During the week of the festival, many side events such as dances and music are planned.
The light festival is one of the most beautiful festivals in Thailand that takes place on the full moon night of the 12th lunar month. It is known to all Thais as Loy Krathong but is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Lights. It happens all over the country in mid-November. Each year millions of people have given their Krathong, a kind of bowl made from banana leaves, to rivers and canals but floating flashlights called “Yi Peng Khome” are increasingly famous to all foreign visitors in Chiang Mai.
Yi Peng is the northern Thai version of the Festival of Lights in the 12th lunar month. The main idea of this custom is to say a prayer, to ask for a wish, and to see as its “Krathong “Or” khome “floats away.
In recent years, the festival has lasted more than three to five days. The Festival of Lights has celebrated with more passion in Chiang Mai than anywhere in the world. The whole of the city is very well decorated with lanterns and flags. However, it is the sound of firecrackers and fireworks that most surprises which last until the many of the dawn.
It is an emotional spectacle and it is not so difficult to float the Yi Peng lantern in the sky. In addition, the price is less than 50 baht each, or equivalent to US$1.50.
The hot moment is to make a circle with friends and to turn on the flame of the flashlight so that it fills the Yi Peng lantern with warm air. Then a wish is made and the lantern is released and finally, it floats in the sky. Many people believe that their problems will go away with Yi Peng lanterns.
The biggest launch of the lanterns takes place outside the city of Chiang Mai and is an event that should not be missed.
What To Do In Chiang Mai during Yi Peng Festival?
On Doi Suthep hill, a few meters above the Doi Suthep temple, is also the Bhubing Palace, king’s summer residence, which is a great place to visit. In addition, the Huay Kaew waterfall is on the same mountain nearby.
In Chiang Mai, there are areas with markets throughout the week but Sunday night market is clearly the most popular night market in Chiang Mai. The Sunday night market occupies several streets of the city from 18:00 in the evening and, of course, you will find all kinds of Thai food to try and it is also the perfect place to buy some very cheap hand-made souvenirs.
Recommendation: Try Thai tea, fruit smoothies or dare to try something more exotic.
Thai massage is famous all over the world for its technique, and you can enjoy the massage from only US$10 an hour. It is really something to take advantage of.