Yee Peng and Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai Thailand

Lantern Release Yi Peng & Loi Krathong

Lighting up the night sky…

The most anticipated festival in Chiang Mai’s yearly calendar. Yi Peng & Loi Krathong never seems to disappoint.

Get ready for one of the most illuminating, spiritual, crazy, fun and explosive festivals in Chiang Mai. What you get out of it all depends on where you position yourself during the combined Yi Peng and Loi Krathong festivals. Held around the time of the full moon, it’s a time of reflection, releasing past negative energy and scaring the hell out of unsuspecting by-standers.

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong

Photo courtesy of Magalie L’Abbé flickr.com

At the moment, students around Chiang Mai are hard at work developing, designing and acquiring new fireworks, or the newest
ear-popping bombs to attach onto their lanterns. For first timers, the festival in Chiang Mai lasts for about three days, with scattered events over five to six days. You can participate in the festival by releasing lanterns in to the air or by floating krathongs down the river Ping.

Krathongs Ping River Chiang Mai

Biodegradable Krathongs for sale at the Ping River in Chiang Mai.

Krathongs are small round floating offerings, usually made of wood and leaves from banana trees. These are decorated with flowers, a small candle and burning incense sticks. You can make your own, which I recommend, or you can buy one from any of the multitude of vendors near the river. What makes this festival magical is seeing the krathongs floating down the river and thousands of lanterns lighting up the night sky – truly spectacular and an unforgettable experience!

Yipeng Lantern Release Lanna Dhutanka grounds

Single release at Lana Dhutanka grounds ~ photo courtesy of Mark Fischer flickr.com

The biggest lantern release is held behind Mae Jo University Chiang Mai known as the Lanna Dhutanka grounds. It is free for all to enter and you’ll need to wear respectable clothing. GET THERE EARLY!! Ceremony starts in the late afternoon with Buddhist prayers. *18.30-19-30 the lighting of lanterns begins.

Events in Chiang Mai City…

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Ping River Chiang Mai

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Festival at the Ping River, Chiang Mai.

Date: November 5, 6 & 7
Location: Chiang Mai

Wednesday, November 5, 2014:

19.00 – 22.00: A beautiful Lantern Parade will start from Thapae Gate and will end on Chang Klan Road opposite Pantip Plaza.
19.00 – 24.00: First night of the Noppamas Queen beauty contest and Yee Peng Kids Contest at Thapae Gate.

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Street Parade Chiang Mai

Yi Peng & Loi Krathong Street Parade Chiang Mai

Thursday, November 6, 2014:
(This is the full moon day)

09.00 – 12.00: Lantern and Giant Lantern Contest at Chiang Mai Municipality Office (at the bank of Mae Ping River).
09.00 – 17.00: Krathong Making Contest at Chiang Mai Municipality Office.
19.00 – 23.00: There will be a Floating Krathong Parade from Thapae Gate to Praisanee Road ending in front of the Municipality Office near the White Pagoda, next to the US Consulate. This is the parade of the small khrathongs.
19.00 – 24.00: Second night of the Noppamas Queen beauty contest at Thapae Gate will take place. (Miss Yee Peng).

Krathongs for sale Ping River Chiang Mai

Krathongs for sale Ping River Chiang Mai

Friday, November 7, 2014:

18.00 – 24.00: There will be a Floating Krathong Parade from Thapae Gate to Praisanee Road ending in front of the Municipality Office near the White Pagoda, next to the US Consulate. This is the parade of the big khrathongs.
22.00: There will be fireworks for about 20 minutes.

Lantern Release Ping River Chiang Mai

Releasing Lanterns at the Ping River in Chiang Mai