The yi peng lantern festival

Have you ever wondered standing under thousands of lanterns that enlightened the dark night sky or ever wondered what it’s like to release a lit lantern in the sky and watch it rise in the air? If you have not experienced that yet, you should make it a point to visit The Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand this year in November. The Yi Peng, or Yee Peng as it is called locally, is a traditional festival that is celebrated in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is a way of paying homage to Buddha, in addition to cleansing one’s spirit. You could take part in it as a tourist and follow in their traditions and culture which brought about this picturesque festival. Immerse yourself in this cultural festival and give your trip to Thailand that icing on the cake. Make sure to go to Chiang Mai to witness this beautiful tradition.

Some facts

The locals call the lanterns Khom Loi/Khom Fai/Khom Loy. Generally, there are two lanterns that are released; the first one is a tradition in the Thai culture while the second one is generally an option for tourists to be able to do that for a nominal fee of US $100. Tourists get a lot in this amount – seating mat, krathong, dinner, shuttle, and, of course, the lantern.

Yi Peng is held on the full moon of the second month (Lanna calendar). The dates are varying, but it generally falls between mid to late November. The dates are not announced in advance; it is only until a couple weeks to the festival that the exact dates are disclosed.

It is a belief among the Thais that releasing a lit lantern will rid one of their bad luck or misfortune. This belief is apparently substantiated if the fire in the lantern you release does not go off until the lantern is out of sight. You could be a part of this tradition and belief and rid yourself of your misfortune as well

Where to stay for this?

Several thousand people are known to attend and participate in this scenic festival. This takes place on the Lanna Dhutanka ground which is located behind Mae Jo University. You could stay at New Mitrapap Hotel or Royal Panerai Hotel or CH Hotel when in Chiang Mai.

Any tips?

This festival specifically pertained to monks before it garnered immense interest from the general populous. Seeing as this festival is quite traditional, cultural, and spiritual, it only makes sense that one should follow suit in all their nuances. Hence, it is expected that one should be properly dressed – since Thai customs and culture dictate that the shoulders should be covered and that the legs should also be moderately covered, a tourists should do the same. Alcohol is forbidden.

How to get there?

If you’re travelling by air, Chiang Mai airport could be your destination. It would not be difficult to find a taxi or car rental at the airport.

If you’re on road, bus routes connect a lot of major cities with Chiang Mai in Thailand. However, if you’re bringing your own vehicle, a motorbike would be preferable as the locus is generally crowded.

Publisher: Fadiyah Sameh

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