Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

Ever since I’ve came to know such thing exists, I been always wanting to fly a sky lantern. Tangled makes the experience seems really pretty and magical. The idea of writing your wish on a paper lantern, lighting it up and letting it go so it can fly high above is just so dreamy. Even this scene from the popular Kdrama, Love in the Moonlight makes me want to attend a sky lantern festival so badly.

Love in the Moonlight (Photo Credits to BEAB)

That dream realized when I attended last year’s Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai, a province situated at the north of Thailand.

Yi Peng also known as Lanna (northern Thai) festival is celebrated on the evening of the full moon of the second month according to Lanna lunar calendar (usually November). Thousands of sky lanterns (khom loi) are launched into the air where they resemble large shoals of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating through the sky.[ref]

Yi Peng 2016

Yi Peng coicides with Loi Krathong, another festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand, Laos, as well as parts of Malaysia, Myanmar and China. The name literally means “to float a basket”, and comes from the tradition of making krathong or buoyant, decorated baskets, which are then floated on a river.[ref]

Lit Krathong Floating in the River

Having thousands of lanterns floating up above the sky and at the same time, baskets of flowers with lit candles floating through the river, really made the night glow.

Yi Peng and Loi Krathong Celebration at  Nawarat Bridge, Chiang Mai, Thailand (2016)

Last year’s celebration was actually toned down as the Thai people were still mourning the death of their former King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Colored lanterns were banned and fireworks display was cancelled. But this doesn’t make the event less fun. Everything that night was still so fascinating.

I just got to tick off an item from my bucket list! Fly a sky lantern: ✓

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