You might have seen this in a movie or in a picture of hundreds and thousands of brightly lit lanterns rising into the night’s sky. It is really fascinating how some cultures celebrate their festivals with all different colors and things, and enthusiasm. It is not only visually pleasing but also spiritually uplifting, no matter what you believe, you can really be amazing to see this festival in Thailand.
Yi Peng Lantern Festival of Thailand is one of those amazing and unique festivals in the world. It is unique in the sense that they use hundreds, if not thousands of paper lanterns to light up the sky on a full moon night. The experience can be absolutely magical for anyone.
Here is a handy guide for you so that you’ll be able to experience the magic and also learn about the background of this traditional and cultural event of Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand.
What is the Yi Peng lantern festival?
You might have seen the Yi Peng lantern festival of Thailand on TV or in pictures, but it is incredibly beautiful for someone to experience it in real life. Although this festival is connected to religious backgrounds, and tied to traditions, it can be wonderful, meaningful and fun for anyone, regardless of what they believe.
This celebration is unique to Northern Thailand. It is celebrated on the full moon that falls on the 12th month of their lunar calendar, and it’s held sometime in November every year. This festival has close ties with ancient Lanna Kingdom, and it originated from the Brahmins or the Hindu priests.
Traditionally, this festival was celebrated as a stand-alone event to mark the end of monsoon season and the beginning of the cool season.
According to the history books, the locals believe that during this time the moon is at its brightest and the rivers are at their fullest. So, according to the natives, it’s the time to ‘make merit’. So, they light up lanterns, called “Khom Loi” to light up the sky, and they set floating “kratong” off on the Ping River, to make a wish for the future and good fortune in the coming New Year.
Some Key Facts about the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand:
- Yi Peng Lantern Festival is an amazing experience for the tourists visually. Definitely worth attending.
- It is tied to cultural and religious backgrounds of the native in Chiang Mai
- This festival is unique in the world. Nothing like this exist anywhere else in the world
- This lantern lighting ritual is actually a part of a smaller festival within the wider Loy Krathong celebrations in Thailand.
- This festival has deeper spiritual and cultural value, deeply rooted in buddhism, and hinduism
- It has meaning for everyone who participates, regardless of their personal or religious beliefs.
- Name of the lanterns used in this festival is “Khom Loi”
- The festival takes place on a full moon night, at the end of the 12th month of the lunar calendar year, and usually this occurs in November each year.
- This festival is believed to be the perfect time to “make merit” where people gather to pray and wish for their bright future in the next year.
- “Khom Loi” is available for tourists to buy from street vendors, so you can light up and release your own!
- The atmosphere is extremely festivus and loving, full of joy and happiness – definitely worth experiencing.
Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand – A Short Overview:
This is one of the unique, traditionally and religiously rooted festivals in the world, which is visually attractive, and also filled with spiritually fulfilling emotions. This festive ritual is celebrated in Thailand every year, which is deeply rooted in Buddhism and Hinduism, and their cultural beliefs.This festival also marks the end of their lunar calendar year, and so it contains prayers and wishes for the next year, for everyone. It’s the perfect time for friends and family to come together, and join in the festive mood, spread love and joy and celebrate together which is referred to as the perfect time to “make merit” Yi Peng Takes Lantern festival takes place In Northern Thailand In Chiang Mai.
It is open to the public and also an event of tourist attraction, where anyone can participate and enjoy the unique rituals and festive feelings of the atmosphere. You are able to buy your own lanterns, which are called “Khom Loi” and release them into the night sky on a full moon night!
What is the History of Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand?
The History of Yi Peng Lantern Festival is tied to their traditional beliefs and Buddist philosophy of letting go of your emotions that you might have bottled up in you and embracing the good fortune that is yet to come in the New Year. Traditionally, the Buddists of the former Thai kingdom started this tradition as a way to show respect to their Lord Budha. Releasing the lanterns in the full moon lit night sky symbolizes their sacrifices, and letting go of their negative feelings, fears, and sufferings of their previous year that they had bottled up within them, and welcome the good fortune of the coming year.
Every year, around November, people of Thailand let go of their negative emotions by either releasing bright lanterns into the full moon night or by floating candle lit rafts into the river, as a way to lift them up spiritually and emotionally.
This is one of the most visually attractive and spectacular celebrations of the world, that takes place in Thailand, is unique to the city of its origin, Chiang Mai.
The tradition of Loy Krathong/Yi Peng originated from the Hindu Brahmanic priests and Buddist traditions in Thailand. at the urging of King Rama IV to respect and please their Lord Buddha. This is also a way the local people released their fears and sufferings which they had accumulated in the previous year and welcomed the New Year.
When is the Yi Peng Lantern Festival Celebrated?
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival is celebrated on the 12th month of the full moon that falls within the Thai calendar year, which is usually at the end of November each year. The best time to celebrate is in the evening of a full moon night, where all the lights from candles and lanterns are well visible.
What are the Best Places to Celebrate the Yi Peng Lantern Festival?
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival is unique to the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand, a land surrounded by misty mountains, located about 700 km (435 miles) north of Bangkok, the place of its origin. Although every city in Asia celebrates this sacred and joyous day in some form, Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand can be one of the most spectacular and amazing experiences for anyone who participates in it. Even tourists can buy their own lanterns and light them up and participate in the ceremony by releasing them into the night sky on a full moon night.
Essential tips to help you enjoy the Yi Peng Lantern Festival, Thailand:
- Arrange your accommodations early: Yi Peng in Chiang Mai is a small city that can attract a large number of tourists during this time of the year and might make it difficult to find a decent hotel.
- The Yi Peng Lantern Floating Festival in Chiang Mai can get extremely crowded: Be prepared to face a large number of people at the festival because there will be a huge number of people gathered in that area.
- The festival can generate a lot of trash: People in that area are not particularly environmentally conscious, so many people use a bit of plastic for floating candles and that can pollute the river or surroundings.
- Be careful when releasing lanterns: Be careful when releasing the ball of fire surrounded by flammable materials and people.
- You may need special photography skills: Blazinglanterns and krathongs are not easy to capture in a regular camera. You may need special photography skills or equipment for this purpose.
Safety concerns during the Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Thailand:
- Just like any other place, travelling to a new, unfamiliar, unknown surroundings may have some safety concerns.
- Make yourself familiar with people, their lifestyle and places so that you don’t become susceptible to potential dangers.
- Make sure you’re covered by medical insurance
- Respect everyone and other’s personal space because it’s a sacred, traditional and religious event deeply rooted in their culture.
- Be careful of the fire when releasing the lanterns into the air because it can be a fire hazard. .
Wow! This is really an amazing and spectacular event, unique to the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand. This is a traditional practice, which is also spiritual and has deeper meaning for the people of Thailand. If you plan to visit, you’ll surely be amazed by its beauty and grace. Make sure to arrange and plan for your travel early and make yourself familiar with their lifestyle and cultural beliefs. This festival can really get crowded, so plan ahead and early. This is really a spiritual event that is also spectacular to see and enjoy for all.