Dates: 2-4th Nov
Submerge yourself in the enchantment of a warm night sky and calm waters glimmering with the light of countless tiny flames this year in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Loy Krathong is celebrated by releasing small candle-lit floats or Krathongs, traditionally into klongs, rivers and canals - although many are released into lakes too nowadays. Loy Krathong takes place every year across Thailand, depending on when the moon reveals its full face. This year, the full moon day lands on the 3rd of November. Yee Peng, or “floating of lanterns into the sky” is the name for the mesmerising lantern festival that takes place during Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai. The mountainous North is home to the calm waters of Mae Ping river, where many of the festival’s celebrations take place.
Loy Krathong is celebrated as a way to pay respect to and thank the Goddess of Water, marking the end of harvest season. The floating of krathongs is also thought to symbolise the release, or “floating away” of misfortune and negative feelings, welcoming good luck and a fresh start. Traditionally the lotus shaped rafts are crafted from banana leaves and embellished with flowers and incense, although more recently the use of potato and even baked bread have been used as construction materials! It is thought that if your krathong stays afloat and lit until it vanishes into the distance, then a year of fortune is to come.
Although the floating of krathong and lanterns takes centre stage amongst festivities, visitors can expect to join in many more celebratory events. Some highlights include boat races along Mae Ping, a lantern procession, krathong parades, and beauty contests. The start of the festival is welcomed with a traditional Lanna dance at the Three Kings Monument, and a Mister and Misses Yee Peng contest. The floating of krathong takes place on the third (full moon day), and on the following night a dazzling firework display commences in honour of H.M. The King at the Mae Ping riverbank. Visitors can send their lanterns into the vast night sky on the third and fourth at Nawarat Bridge which stretches across the Mae Ping.
Why should you go?
The vivd glimmer of lights atop still water, floating in the dark sky, and illuminating ancient temples is another experience altogether - Chiang Mai becomes a glowing haven during Loy Krathong and Yee Peng.
The city is an excellent culture junkie destination especially during the lively festival, throughout which Mae Ping river becomes a focal point. Its cool and winding waters drift past Chiang Mai’s green countryside and teak houses. Why not join a river cruise? It’s a superb way to soak in the blissful scenery, and even sample food prepared by locals.
Regal Travel’s team are on hand to organise that thing you’ve always wanted to do - why not give us a call or pop into one of our four branches?