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.
1. What is Yi Peng Lantern Festival?
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.
2. When is the Yee Peng Lantern Festival 2023 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 2023, the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Festival will be held on November 27-28th, 2023. It usually coincides with Loy Krathong Festival.
See How to Best Experience Chiang Mai's Yi Peng Lantern Festival this year (Expert Guide).
3. Why is the Yi Peng Lantern Festival celebrated?
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.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I have never hear of this company…
I have never hear of this company before , and after reading all these reviews ,I decided to give it a try . The professionalism and communicative skill received by one of the agent , Sharon of Asia Highlights , convince me that She was the right travel agent for my trip in Asia . Very quickly she communicated with me and got all the detail of my desire vacation . Sharon made me a great itinerary with great experiences that I am dreaming to experience and I am looking forward to it . Thanks Sharon for been so great and crafting me a dream vacation with great suggestions.More
orge alvarez, May 2023
Coco Yang worked tirelessly to…
From the moment I landed in Bangkok, Ms Noi Ying was there to welcome me and get me settled into my hotel. We enjoyed several days together touring Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. In Chiang Mai, Mr Ekachai took my son snd I on an amazing trip to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and to visit a community Lanna home, gardens and a hands-on cooking class preparing an authentic Thai meal. Lisa arranged a last-minute speedboat tour of 5 breathtaking islands in Phuket. From start to finish, the guides exceeded my expectations!! Thank you, Asia Highlight!! Debbie WoodsMore
Debbie Woods, May 2023
Sharon from Asia highlights has been…
Sharon from Asia highlights has been amazing. She offered her amazing ideas to other tours I wanted. We have planned the perfect 9 day itinerary to Thailand. She worked in my budget and was very flexible when I had to change my flights. Thank you sharon. Can’t wait for the trip.More
Heather Stern Wilensky, Apr 2023
Ms. Ning first review 4-2023
Ms. Albee Ning has been doing a great job accommodating my requests and itinerary changes. Remember the first itinerary is a rough draft and you may modify it to suit your tastes. Remember you can not do it all and see everything in 3 weeks. If the flight wasn't so long I would visit Southeast Asia more often. I will update my review in a few months. We don't leave for 9 more months. Asia Highlights is working well for me so far!More
Chiefray, Apr 2023
Perfect Trip To Thailand…
We had so much fun in Bangkok with Tanni and Tom as they kept laughing at all of our silly jokes. Paul, our guide and Chiang Mai was really thoughtful, fun and full of great information about the temples and sights. Thanks so much! Brian and MichelleMore
Scott Orchard, Mar 2023
I highly recommend Asia Highlights
I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I worked with Alisa and she is fantastic! I was planning my honeymoon trip, and I changed the destination multiple times. Each time, Alisa provided me an updated itinerary with activities that matched my interests. Whether I had a small change to an activity, a question about one of the arrangements, or a change or destination, Alisa was helpful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable, providing me with updated options in an extremely timely manner. In the end, despite the fact that I changed my mind on location multiple times, I ended up booking a 17 day trip to Thailand for this upcoming November. I am extremely excited to experience everything that Alisa planned for us. I recommend Asia Highlights to everyone and look forward to using them again on any other trips to Asia in the future. Thank you Alisa and Asia Highlights!More
Britt Rosen, Mar 2023
Three weeks encompassing Vietnam
A special shoutout to our last guide in Bangkok - Ms. Ka-Noon who spoiled us with her kindness and then got us through check in and security for our flight home in record time at that huge Bangkok airport.More
Deby, Feb 2023
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia…
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia highlights twice. And both times we've had fantastic vacations. Would not want to do it any different when we travel to Asia from now on. Sharon was fantastic. She was a wonderful agent who helped us nail down our trip and make everything go as smooth as possible.More
Todd Atwell, Feb 2023
Family Trip to Thailand
Our trip to Thailand comprised three generations of the family , ten people and an age range of 4 to 70 so a potentially difficult brief.Our itinerary over two weeks involved four locations, and a number of different trips and tours.From out arrival at an extremely busy Bangkok airport Asia Highlights were terrific.In each location we were met by a smiling , knowledgeable and professional guide who simply made everything easy and stress free for everyone.Our transportation was clean and comfortable . Transport was always ready for us at the agreed time and the drivers were excellent.There were so many highlights enjoyed by all the age groups. The floating houses , railway market and elephant sanctuary were particular favourites.We had one minor glitch with the accommodation in Phuket which was immediately dealt with by Tip. I think we would have struggled to resolve the problem by ourselves. So, thank you Asia Highlights , Cathy, Tip and tour guides Tanny, Sam and Lisa. It was a memorable holiday and we will be back.More
Roger Pyle, Feb 2023
Trip of a lifetime from Asia Highlights!
I recommend highly Asia Highlights as a travel company. Our travel consultant Albee took the time to connect with us during the planning process to make sure we were comfortable with our itinerary. When we arrived, we were met by our guide and all the details were attended to. They picked great hotels and tours. I often describe our trip as the trip of a lifetime! Would definitely use them again when we come back to AsiaMore
Nancy Parker, Feb 2023
Asia Highlights and Albee - highly recommended
Asia Highlights is very reliable agency and Albee is an amazing representative of the company. From the moment when we contacted her until our departure, the whole support we received was 6* level. She prepared our trip offer within few hours and afterwards she was extremely flexible to adjust as per our needs. In the period between the offer and the trip, Albee was always available for all our questions and supported us on the best possible way. During the trip she was again flexible to add new activities/transfers and this went on the smoothest possible way. Thank you, Albee and Asia Highlights. Definitely we will approach you again for our next Asian tripMore
AZ, Feb 2023
5 STAR CUSTOMER SERVICE BY MONICA
Monica is a very sweet young lady who speaks excellent English via email/WhatsApp, and knows the importance of excellent customer service.More
Trent, Jan 2023
We had an awesome experience with Asia Highlights
We started our trip in Bangkok, where Mr. Prassert our tour guide, met us. He was on time and the van was clean and well-maintained. Mr. Prassert was our guide for the 4 days we spent in Bangkok. He was helpful, kind, and willing to accommodate our pee and coffee breaks. The driver was safe and punctual. Next, we went to Chiang Mai.Gemma exceeded every expectation we had for our tour of Chiang Mai! She had a great attitude that made exploring the city fun and exciting, as well as an abundance of knowledge and experience. She was always spot on with figuring out logistics and coming up with unique ideas that suited our interests and schedules. Gemma was incredibly generous with her time and even walked us to security at the airport to make sure we could carry all of our luggage. That’s just one example of how far out of her way she went to make our trip easier and more enjoyable. Gemma was sincerely interested in making every minute of our trip count. We’re very grateful to have met her and feel like we have found a friend in Gemma! Our driver in Chiang Mai was also great and very accommodating to our changes in schedules.More
Lois Paskow, Dec 2022
Thailand & Cambodia 2022
Albee went above and beyond to make our trip perfect. She rearranged flights due to a mistake of mine. She made sure we were still picked up and escorted to the airport. I felt comfortable and safe with all our reps. She did an excellent job and I highly recommend her booking your next trip. Thank you, Albee.More
Karen Brooks, Dec 2022
Perfect vacation thanks to Albee we…
I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate all the efforts, attention to details and immediate responses to all questions that Albee and her team provided. The Asia Highlights team deserves more stars than the maximum allowed because of continually going above and beyond all expectations. Thanks Albee for making our vacation through south east Asia absolutely perfect!!!More
Michael Sharp, Dec 2022
2023 Chiang Mai CAD Yipeng Festival
We got early bird ticket and Bella was assisting us through whatsapp. Easy, competitive price, front row tickets. Thanks Bella, for being patient explaining everything to me. Highly recommended.More
lily hartati, Dec 2022
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep. She was responsive and knowledgeable. Buying tickets from their website was super easy and the whole process was straightforward. Highly recommended.More
Khai, Nov 2022
I was ever so grateful to have a point…
I was ever so grateful to have a point of contact while in a foreign country for the first time, alone, that helped me through the Ins and outs of getting to and from my destination. Albee was readily available which brought me much comfort and feeling of safety. If in this part of the world again, I will not hesitate to use your services..More
Omega, Nov 2022
I booked tickets to the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Nov 2022. Bella was extremely responsive and helpful!!More
Bowen, Nov 2022
It is the attention to detail and what we specifically wanted to see that made the reservation experience so exciting.More
Peter Bongiovanni, Nov 2022
4. What's the origin of Yi Peng?
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.
5. How do Thai people celebrate Yi Peng Lantern Festival?
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, and 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.
Suggested read: How to Best Experience Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2023 in Chiang Mai, Thailand
6. What is the meaning of the lanterns to heaven during the Yi Peng Festival?
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.
7. Where is the Yee Peng Lantern Festival celebrated?
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).
8. Where are the best places to experience Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai?
There are many places to join the festival, 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.
- Nawarat Bridge on the Ping River: This is where most of the Chiang Mai locals go to release their krathong floating lanterns on the nearby Ping River.
- Three Kings Monument: It is the place where the majority of activities take place. You can watch a candle-lighting ceremony and a Buddhist worship ritual.
- Thapae Gate: It is the place where many of the festival parades take place.
- If you want to join in a mass lantern release and witness thousands of flying lanterns released at once, CAD Khomloy Sky Lanterns Festival and Yee Peng Lanna International (Mae Jo University) can be great options.
Besides lantern releases, you can experience many cultural activities, including worship rituals, decoration contests, bazaars, and traditional Thai dance shows. See more detailed information about Best Yee Peng Mass Lantern Releases in Chiang Mai.
9. How to Attend the Yi Peng Mass Lantern Release?
For those who want to experience the incredible scene of thousands of floating lanterns released into the night sky, it is a good idea to go to a mass lantern release event.
The tickets for Chiang Mai CAD are on sale now. Asia Highlights — Official Partner of Chiang Mai Arts and Design (CAD) since 2019.
Here are the prices for three kinds of tickets. Premium tickets are most recommended, as you will get closest to the stage and the chanting monks, receive priority shuttle transport with a business van, and have a buffet dinner for a special food zone.
- Premium ticket: US$ 199
- VIP ticket: US$ 179
- Standard ticket: US$ 139
Click to see the celebration timeline and questions you might have about experiencing the Yi Peng Festival.
Get Your 2023 Chiang Mai CAD Lantern Mass Release Tickets Here!
10. What is the difference between the Yi Peng Festival and Loy Krathong?
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.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
Get Inspired with Our Sample Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.