Yi Peng The Lantern Festival (Thailand)

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Evelyn Fraire

The Yi Peng Lantern Festival which takes place in northern Thailand, mainly in Chiang Mai on November 8. This festival is most famous for its enchanting sight of thousands of lit lanterns rising into the night’s sky over Chiang Mai. It is quite the sight to see, and many people enjoy looking up into the sky and seeing hundreds of lit lanterns.

 

 

What is the Yi Peng Festival?

This is an ancient event which traces back to the Lanna Kingdom which took place in the late 13th century. Yi Peng was celebrated to mark the end of the Monsoon season (a seasonal reversing accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but it is used to describe season changes – it brings lots of wind and rain) and the start of the cool season. Citizens of Thailand release lanterns into the air at the Yi Peng Festival. This festival usually takes place in the month of November every year, but the date is different each year.

Why is the festival celebrated?

Aside from the end of the Monsoon season, the Festival is also celebrated as a way to release negative energy into the night sky and wish for good luck and good fortune in the coming year. This festival is also one of the many ancient traditions to honor Buddha in order to gain merit.

Fun Fact – Did you know Yi means ‘two’ and Peng means ‘full moon day’ which refers to the date on which this celebration takes place.

Where did Yi Peng originate?

In Thailand, if you pay respect to Buddha it is regarded as a way for you to be reborn again into your next life in order to enjoy immense popularity as well as purity. In the article written by Asia highlights it states, “Some people believe the Yi Peng festival originated in India with the legend of the candle – carrying bird which once visited the Gautama Buddha and spoke to him about merit.”

The way Thai people celebrate this festival is the launch of Khom Loi, or lanterns to be released into the night sky all together. Many people take part in worship rituals, decoration contests, bazaars, parades, and traditional Thai dance shows. There will also be lots of food, firecrackers, and fireworks.

cited from: Lan-Na kingdom