A Guide to Yi Peng Festival 2023

Yi Peng Festival Chiang Mai

You’ve no doubt seen plenty of photos on social media of thousands of paper lanterns drifting up into the sky in Chiang Mai but what is this event and why is it celebrated? We take a look in this handy guide to the Yi Peng lantern festival in Chiang Mai.

What is Yi Peng (Yee Peng)
Yee = Two / Peng = Full Moon literally means the 2nd full moon of the Thai Lanna calendar. Because of this the date changes every year but it’s usually held in November. Yi Peng 2022 will take place on the 8th November and Loy Krathong on the 9th November.

It is believed that in the past, Lanna people must worship the Buddha relics, Phra That Kaew Chulamanee, on the fullmoon of the twelfth month. However, the relic is stored at the highest of heaven floors. In order for their prayers to reach the heaven, the Lanna people then used the sky lanterns to worship the Buddha relics during the festival. Lanterns are lit and released into the night sky, filling it with sky lanterns creating a magnificent sight.

Yi Peng was traditionally celebrated to mark the end of the monsoon season and the start of the cooler, drier months. It is believed that the lanterns will carry away unfortunate things and make way for good luck and a bright future.  Yi Peng is celebrated in tandem with Loy Krathong so during this time there are plenty of activities taking place. Yi Peng generally refers to the releasing of the lanterns whilst Loy Krathong refers to the floating of offerings along canals, rivers and ponds. The event also includes smaller scale activities such as going to the local temple and listening to monk’s praying or decorating houses with hanging lanterns to give praise to Lord Buddha.

History of Yi Peng

Where to Celebrate Yi Peng Festival 2023?
There are various spectacular photos circulating every year and whilst there are plenty of lanterns being released all over the city, the photos are generally taken from one of four spots which offer paid tickets to watch the spectacle.
These are:

Chiang Mai CAD Khomloy Sky Lanterns Festival 2023 (San Pa Tong)
Yee Peng lanna International 2023 (Mae Jo)
Northern Study Center 2023 (Mae Rim)
Wat Doi Ti & Kruba Srivijaya Monument 2022

These locations typically host 3000+ people with various packages depending on viewing spot and inclusions. Contact us if you’re interested in buying tickets to one of these events.

What is Yi Peng

Can Anyone Launch a Lantern?
Generally yes, however in recent years there has been a cause for concern for safety in flight paths and so launching lanterns in the city has been very much limited compared to years ago. It’s best to ask your hotel / accommodation for updates on where to go. There is no need to buy a lantern in advance and there will be plenty of vendors on the street during the festival.

It is common to write a message on the lantern but be careful not to tear the thin paper. A wish is made prior to release and as long as the wind is favorable you’re good to go! Don’t be shy to ask those around you for help if you’re struggling on your own, they’re surprisingly difficult to launch.

How about Krathongs?
Krathongs are sold around any water source such as the Ping river, canal road and in various parks. In previous years many were made of foam or plastic but thankfully they’re getting fewer and fewer, that said be careful to check as even the candles have a plastic base and other parts of the Krathong may be made from plastic. People may put money in the Krathong, light incense / candles and say a prayer upon release.

Loy Krathong

Things to Note
If you’re heading to a free event area such as the Ping river the traffic will be unbearable so best to walk / bike or motorbike. Check with a local where to release the lantern, properties have burned to the ground in the past and releasing in the city has become very restricted recently.  Want to know how to book the Yi Peng festival 2022?  Get in touch with us to learn more.


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