Yee Peng is one of these festivals and its name refers to the 12th lunar full moon in the Buddhist calendar. Celebrations take place in Chiang Mai and usually occur in November on the western Calendar. Other parts of Thailand also refer to this festival as Loy Kratong.
A religious event Yee Peng is celebrated by the local people who take part in traditional activities. My personal highlight of this festival is the release into the sky of ‘Khom Loy’ or ‘Thai Lanterns’ as westerners tend to call them. Watching hundreds upon hundreds of these lanterns quietly cascading into the sky is breath taking and definitely a must see if your lucky enough to time your travels through Thailand with this momentous occasion.
It is understood that by releasing these Thai lanterns you are releasing misfortune from your life which I’m sure you’ll agree is nothing to be sniffed at and helps to explain this events popularity. The light from the lantern is also said to represent the guiding light in your life steering you on the right future path.
These Lanterns are made from Bamboo and rice paper and float skyward for approximately 15 mins until the attached full cell dies out and they glide gently back to earth, albeit in a new location. The recent upsurge in popularity has even resulted in the Royal Thai Air Force suspending flights during the pinnacle of the event and warnings to commercial air traffic at the airport to exercise extreme caution as the Thai lanterns could pose a threat to the jet turbine.
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