Yi Peng Lantern Festival (sometimes written as Yee Peng) in Chiang Mai is world-famous for its enchanting sight of thousands of lit lanterns rising into the night’s sky over Chiang Mai. We've put together all things you need to know about this romantic festival in Chiang Mai.
Yi Peng Lantern Festival is an ancient festive event tracing back to the ancient Lanna Kingdom (in the late 13th Century). It was traditionally celebrated to mark the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the cool season. Thai people release lanterns into the air at Yi Peng Lantern Festival. It is celebrated in northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai.
Yi means 'two' and Peng means 'full moon day', which refers to the date of this celebration. It takes place on the full moon night of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar (usually in November in the Western calendar).
Yi Peng Festival is usually celebrated in November every year. The date is different each year. In 2022, the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival will be held on November 8-9th, 2022. The tickets for Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lanterns Festival 2022 are on sale now. Limited to 3500 seats/day. Contact us to book a ticket.
Besides celebrating the end of the monsoon sea, Yi Peng Lantern Festival is celebrated as a way to release negative energy and wish for good luck and good fortune in the coming year. The festival is also one of the ancient traditions to honor Buddha in order to gain merit.
The most popular practice to celebrate the festival is the launch of khom loi, or lanterns, into the night sky.
There are plenty of other activities that happen all over Chiang Mai during the festival. These include worship rituals, decoration contests, bazaars, parades traditional Thai dance shows, the official ‘Yee Peng Parade’ around the Old City gate and down Tha Phae Road, live music, and handicraft sessions. You can also expect lots of food vendors setting up, firecrackers, fireworks.
During the festival, some people also decorate their houses, gardens, and temples with khom fai, intricately shaped paper lanterns that take on different forms.
The act of releasing 'floating lanterns' (โคมลอย, khom loi) symbolizes letting go of misfortunes from the previous year and wishing for good luck in the coming year. If your lantern disappears into the dark before the light goes out, you will have an extremely good year.
Yee Peng Lantern Festival is celebrated primarily in northern Thailand, with the largest celebrations held in Chiang Mai. If you want to experience this festival, go to Chiang Mai where Yi Peng coincides with the nationally celebrated Loy Krathong Festival (the famous Thailand Lights Festival).
There are many places to join the festival and release lanterns, paid or free. If you want to enjoy the festival like the locals, you can go to the Ping River, Three Kings Monument, and Thapae Gate.
If you want to join in a mass lantern release and witness thousands of flying lanterns released at once, Yee Peng Lanna International (Mae Jo University) and CAD Khomloy Sky Lanterns Festival can be great options. Besides lanterns releases, you can experience many cultural activities, including worship rituals, decoration contests, bazaars, traditional Thai dance shows. See more detailed information about Best Yee Peng Mass Lantern Releases in Chiang Mai.
In 2021, sky lanterns and fireworks are prohibited to provide the highest order and safety for the people. The famous mass lantern release event - CAD Yi Peng 2021 Event is also canceled due to COVID 19 restrictions. The event will be postponed until the end of this year to celebrate the new year countdown festival. Contact us to book a ticket.
However, you can experience the celebration activities of the Loy Krathong Festival which takes place at the same time in Chiang Mai, such as releasing a krathong on a river.
Yi Peng Festival was adapted from Brahmin origins and is closely associated with the Thai Lanna culture.
Deeply rooted in Buddhism, some people believe Yi Peng Lantern Festival originated in India with the legend of the candle-carrying bird which once visited the Gautama Buddha and spoke to him about merit. In Thailand, paying respect to Buddha is regarded as a way to be reborn into the next life to enjoy great popularity and purity.
One major difference is that during Loy Krathong raft-like krathong lanterns made from banana leaves are released to float on rivers and lakes whereas during Yi Peng bamboo paper Khom Loi lanterns are released into the sky.
Loy Krathong is celebrated all across Thailand while Yi Peng is celebrated mainly in northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai.
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