What you need to know about Chiang Mai’s magnificent Yi Peng Lantern Fest
Several tourist spots in Chiang Mai city have been spruced up and decorated with colourful Lanna-style lanterns to welcome Thai and foreign visitors for its famous “Yi Peng Lantern Festival” this year.
Yi Peng is a Lanna-style Loy Krathong Festival.
The word “yi’ means two while “peng” means full moon day, so the festival is held during a full moon in the second Lanna month, which is the 12th month of the Thai Lunar calendar.
Three days of Yi Peng
- The 13th day of the waxing moon – buying things to make merit at temples
- 14th day – making merit at temples, floating large krathongs with food for poor people
- 15th day – floating krathongs at ponds/canals in temples, paying homage to a relic of the Buddha’s footprint.
Apart from lanterns on display, several spots are decorated with big krathongs to welcome tourists. The lanterns shine brightly at night and provide a good selfie or photo opportunity for Thais and foreign tourists alike.
This year, the festival will be held on Saturday. The old city area and the road in front of the Chiang Mai City Municipality Office will be decked with beautiful Lanny-style lanterns of all hues and sizes.
On Monday, an opening prayer ceremony will be held at the shrine and white pagoda in front of Chiang Mai City Municipality. There will also be a ceremony at Sri Khong pier in which people “apologise” to the Ping River.
In the evening, a ceremony launching the Yi Peng festival will commence with several exciting activities, including a Lanna-style lantern competition and contests to crown a Mister and a Miss Yi Peng.
On Tuesday, Loy Krathong Day, a Tang Tham Luang ceremony will be held, in which Buddhists gather to listen to a grand sermon on the last life of the Bodhisattva at Wat Si Don Chai.
A krathong competition, with colourful floats made from banana leaves and flowers, will also sail ahead, along with the Yi Peng kid contest.
Meanwhile, a Lanna-style lantern parade competition will take to the road from a square at Tha Phae Gate to the Chiang Mai City Municipality Office.
Wednesday will see a luk thung singing contest featuring dancers at the office.
In the evening, a krathong parade competition gets underway, with an award for the biggest and most attractive public float being presented at night.