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Loy Krathong is the famous floating lantern festival in Thailand where thousands of Thai people gather on one night across the country to release floating rafts called Krathongs on rivers and waterways across the country.
On the same day, the Yi Peng festival takes place in Chiang Mai. Yi Peng (sometimes spelled Yee Peng) is the Sky Lantern Festival where people gather to release flying lanterns Khom Loi) into the sky in an incredibly picturesque and romantic display.
The date of these festivals changes every year because they are based on the Thai Lunar calendar. Loy Krathong and Yi Peng typically fall in November.
|Celebration||Loy Krathong 2020||Yi Peng 2020|
|Date||October 31||October 31 & November 1|
|Day||Saturday||Saturday and Sunday|
|Event Details||During Loy Krathong, floating lanterns made from banana leaves are released on rivers and waterways across Thailand. The best places to celebrate Loy Krathong include Sukhothai, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.||Although Chiang Mai does celebrate Loy Krathong, they also celebrate Yi Peng with mass releases of flying lanterns, or Khom Loi. Yi Peng in Chiang Mai is an unforgettable sight and the best way to experience it is to attend a mass lantern release.|
Loy Krathong takes place on the night of the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar and typically falls in November according to the Gregorian calendar. Yi Peng festival normally starts one or two days before Loy Krathong.
The official dates of Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are announced the year before. So we don't know exactly when the festival will take place in future years, but we know it will likely happen on the night of the full moon, or one day before or after. Here are the upcoming full moons (and tentative Loy Krathong dates) for 2021, 2022, and 2023.
In most of Thailand (including Bangkok and Phuket), the celebrations of Loy Krathong happen during one night, specifically the night of the full moon of the 12th lunar month.
In Sukhothai, the ancient capital of Siam and the city where the holiday began, celebrations can last up to two weeks with parades, fireworks, and candle-lit waterways.
For Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, the celebration normally lasts three days. Celebrations include parades, food markets, and mass lantern releases. In 2020, most mass lantern releases occur on October 31st, however, Chiang Mai CAD (Culture Art and Design) hosts mass releases on both the 31st and November 1st.
Loy Krathong and Yi Peng are not public holidays in Thailand. Because they are celebrated at night, most people don't need to take off work to participate in the festival.
All shops, restaurants, and businesses remain open during Loy Krathong and Yi Peng which makes the holidays convenient for travelers and locals alike.
It is possible to see the release of Sky Lanterns in Chiang Mai without attending an official event, but these local releases are often much smaller and less photogenic than those at larger events.
Travelers who want to be surrounded by Sky Lanterns and take incredible photos of the release are better off attending a mass release in Chiang Mai. Most mass releases in 2020 will take place on October 31st but some locations, such as the CAD Sky Sports Stadium, also have releases on November 1st.
|Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lantern Festival 2020||Chiang Mai Airports Farm||October 31 & November 1||Chiang Mai CAD hosts the largest event with 5000 seats available. The release includes cultural shows and dinner. A ticket will give each visitor one Krathong and two Khom Loi sky lanterns. You can buy your tickets for the 2020 release today!|
|Yee Peng Lanna International (Maejo Release)||Not yet announced||October 31||The Maejo Mass Lantern Release is hosted by a Buddhist organization and is a more religious event. The ceremony includes a ritual and meditation. Tickets will not be sold until September and will likely be sold out within three weeks.|
|Yee Peng Doi Saket||Doi Saket Hot Spring||TBD||Located in a beautiful rural setting. Unfortunately, last year one of the days of this lantern release was canceled due to new government regulations.|
|Chiang Mai sky’s lantern festival||Northern Study Center in Mae Rim District||October 31 & November 1||Located closer to the city. Tickets are not available online and the event supplies one Krathong and one sky lantern per person.|
The reason that the date of Loy Krathong changes every year is that, like many other Buddhist holidays, the timing of the festival is based on the lunar calendar. In Thailand, there are multiple lunar calendars. Loy Krathong is based on the typical Buddhist lunar calendar and falls in the 12th month (duean 12).
Yi Peng festival was created by the Lanna people of Northern Thailand and its date is based on the Lanna Lunar Calendar. Yi Peng takes place at the same time as Loy Krathong but falls in the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar.
Here are all the dates of the Thai Lantern Festivals, Loy Krathong and Yi Peng, from 1990 to 2030.
The exact date of Loy Krathong is often determined the year prior. The future dates listed below are the date of the full moon. We know that Loy Krathong will take place very close to this date, but the exact day will not be known until the year before.
|Year||Loy Krathong Dates||Day|
Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you design your perfect trip to Thailand for Loy Krathong, Yi Peng, or both. Check out the following links to learn more about our tours and get a head start on planning your hassle-free vacation today!