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2017 Loy Krathong And Yee Peng Festival In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Fri Oct 06 2017
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The Tourism Authority of Thailand have announced that the Chiang Mai Yee Peng Festival 2017, which includes Loy Krathong and the Great Sermon Ceremony, is scheduled to take place in the first week of November.

The festival will officially begin on the 2nd with the opening ceremony at Lanna Folklife Museum at 7pm. During the evenings of the 2nd and the 3rd, there will be performances of Lanna folk dances around the moat, the Mister and Miss Yee Peng Contest and the Respective Ritual Ceremony to Phra Sirimangkalajarn beginning at 7pm.

On November 3rd, the Lanna ritual of floating candlelit baskets, Krathong Sai, will begin at 7pm. On November 4th, the grand Krathong parade will begin at 7pm from Tha Pae Gate to Chiang Mai Municipality Office.

During the Loy Krathong activities, Jed Lin temple will be hosting The Great Sermon “Tang Tum Luang” Ceremony and the candle tray decoration from the 1st to the 5th while the Great Sermon will also be hosted on November 3rd at eight temples including Suan Dok, Chiang Yuen, Chai Sri Poom, Bupparam, Chai Mongkol, Nuntaram, Rampueng and Jed Yod from 6am to 8pm.

At Loke Molee Temple and the First Church of Chiang Mai, there will be a musical stage campaign for alcohol-free drinks during the festival.

We will keep you updated on more Loy Krathong 2017 events across Thailand as they are announced.

Official Tourism Authority of Thailand Itineraries (Click to open):

2017 Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Yee Peng Festival Itinerary - Page 1

2017 Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Yee Peng Festival Itinerary - Page 2

What is the Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festival?

Loy Krathong ceremony which is said to have originated some 700 years ago in Sukhothai, is one of the most popular and picturesque festivals in Thailand every year. Loy Krathong festival is when people gather around lakes, rivers and canals to pay respect and give thanks to the goddess of water by releasing beautiful lotus shaped rafts, decorated with candles, incense and flowers onto the water.

Every year, Loy Krathong falls on the night of the twelfth lunar month which is usually in November, at the end of the rainy season, when the full-moon lights up the sky. The sight of thousands of Krathongs, their flickering candles sending a thousand pinpoints of light far into the horizon is a truly magical sight that is not to be missed.

The history behind the festival is complex and Thais celebrate Loy Krathong for many reasons. The main rice harvest season has ended so it’s time to thank the Water Goddess for a year’s worth of her abundant water supply, as well as making an apology for polluting the waters.

Some believe that this is the time to symbolically ‘float away’ all the anger and grudges you have been holding onto. Including a fingernail or a lock of hair is seen as a way of letting go of the dark side of yourself, enabling you start anew free of negative feelings. Thais also believe that if your candle stays alight until your Krathong disappears out of sight, it means you have a year of good luck ahead.

Loosely translated, Loy Krathong means, “to float a basket”. “Loy” means to float and a “Krathong” is a small handmade boat traditionally made from a section of banana tree trunk. Modern-day versions often use styrofoam or bread which will disintegrate after a few days and can be eaten by fish.

Buddhist devotees often craft krathong with banana leaves and adorn them with flowers, candles, and incense sticks. On the night of the full moon, they light the candles and joss-sticks, and launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so and paying respects to the water goddess who guards the river.

The annual festival celebrations in Sukhothai and Chiang Mai are seen as being particularly special and spectacular.

Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

In Chiang Mai, Loy Krathong coincides with the Northern Thai Lanna festival of Yee Peng, or full moon day of the second month of the Lanna traditional calendar which is the 12th month according to Thai traditional calendar. Yee means “two”, and Peng means “a full moon day”.

During the Yee Peng festival, illuminated Khom Loi - or Lanna style sky lanterns - are released into the air through the course of the night. The act of releasing the lantern symbolises letting go of all ills and misfortunes in the previous year, and Buddhists also believe that if you make a wish when you set off the lantern, it will come true if you do good deeds the following year.

During Yee Peng you’ll also see locals’ homes and public places decked out in beautiful, colourful hanging lanterns and flag decorations.

Enjoying the 2017 Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai

Sky lanterns are sold at various locations around Chiang Mai city throughout the festival period and the night sky is filled with the sight of sky lanterns.

Nawarat Bridge, and along the bank of Ping River as well as temple with bigger garden such as Wat Lok Mo Lee are the popular spots for releasing sky lanterns. At Wat Lok Mo Lee and the First Church of Chiang Mai, there will be a musical stage campaign during the festival.

The spectacular massed sky lantern release is also a popular activity, particularly for tourists. It takes place at Mae Jo, some 30km away from Chiang Mai city. This is not an official Yee Peng event, but rather a privately arranged and ticketed event which is mainly for tourists and is predominantly popular with Chinese visitors.

Though tickets are often hard to come by, it’s still a great idea to take your camera to capture the photogenic moment of tens of thousands of sky lantern mass release. The compound outside the event area is equally crowded with locals and tourists wanting to be part of this wonderful event.

Additional credit for this article: Chiang Mai Traveller

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