Even though we had visited Thailand 3 years ago, we could not let the opportunity pass by to visit Chiang Mai again and attend the famous Loi Krathong & Yee Peng Lantern Festival for a few days. Perhaps it seems we chase festivals constantly because of our previous posts, but this one was seriously the only one planned before our world tour. By viewing the photos, we hope you will understand why.
Chiang Mai is our favourite town in Thailand, located in the north of the country, because of the delicious cuisine of restaurant Cooking Love and this amazing event. Two facts which are good to know about this festival:
– Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated throughout the country based on the Full moon of the 12th Thai month. This festival consists of releasing a floating basket on the river with a candle, of which the light venerates Buddha, and this act is to wash away your sins.
– Yee peng consists on releasing a lantern to the sky and perhaps the most famous, this lantern represents letting go the illness and misfortune. So we have been told by a monk that in that night Buddha can make your wish come true, and the lanterns are the way to communicate and make your message reach him. Good to write your wish on the lantern.
The activities for this festival lasted several days:
– Besides the opening ceremony, there was a massive dance performance of approximately 300 ladies demonstrating their traditional dance with candles.
Every single moment there feels special, but in our opinion the second day was the most impressive experience with loy kratong. The day that the candles are released to float on the river and the lanterns into the sky. This year the celebrations fell on the same day.
The streets are full with locals and tourists buying their decorated baskets of art & candles and the lanterns. Whether you believe in it or not, everyone is welcome to join and share these beautiful traditions.
If this post will motivate you also to visit this festival one day, than we have some advice for you: First observe others to see how they throw their lantern in the sky, because not everyone succeeds and it´ll be a shame if your wish doesn´t reach the Buddha. Don´t forget to write your wish!
There seems to be a celebration at a monastry as well at the same time, but more expensive and not necessarily more fun. So therefore we chose to join the free celebrations on the streets.
This is probably one of the most magical nights of our whole trip, to see hundreds of candles washing away the sins in the river, and at the same time you look at the sky and you see the lanterns together with the stars. Breathtaking!!!
On the last day there is a massive parade which lasted more than 3 hours
If you ever go to Thailand, this is a must-visit event!