Note* To find out the real dates for upcoming Yi Peng Festivals – Follow this Page on Facebook The official dates are often posted here in Thai and English when they are confirmed.
Chiang Mai Hotels Near to Yi Peng Lantern Festival 2014
Watch the short Yi Peng Festival Videos that we made here.
You will find the official launching spot of the Yi Peng Festival behind Mae Jo University.
What we experienced at the real Lanna Yi Peng Festival
The day after we arrived back in Thailand from our trip to Burma, it was time for the event that Jmayel and myself had been waiting for ever since our move to Thailand, the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai. The 10000+ Sky lantern release celebration certainly didn’t disappoint.
The festival takes place each year and is held on the night of the full moon usually in the month of November, or in the case of this year the end of October. It is a traditional Lanna festival and a time to make merit and pay respect to Buddha. The floating sky lanterns, or khom loi’s as they are known in Thailand are symbols of your worries and problems floating away.
Chiang Mai is the best place to witness the Yi Peng festival, although it is celebrated throughout the country, Chiang Mai is the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom and always has the biggest celebrations.
J & I made our wishes as we released the lanterns into the fire lit sky and it brought back some good memories for us, we released sky lanterns on our wedding night over the desert in Morocco. Not quite as elaborate as the Thai Yi Ping festival but just as special.
The Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai was one of the most spectacular sights we have ever seen and after the lantern release fireworks exploded into the sky with appreciative gasps from the crowds.
Tips and Information about the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai
The release takes place behind the grounds of Mae Jo University, with it being a Buddhist celebration, you are required to wear suitable clothing with shoulders covered and legs modestly covered.
There were many food stalls set out along the approach to the field and lots of people selling lanterns. We bought ours on the way in, not realizing that we wouldn’t be permitted to take them into the actual grounds. So don’t buy the lanterns from the vendors outside.
They took our lanterns from us as we got to the main entrance and we had to re buy them at the stalls inside the university. Lanterns inside the grounds were priced at 100B each, but were much larger than the ones outside and in the shops around Chiang Mai.
Entrance to the festival is free and the main chanting started around 6pm. We got there an hour early and staff showed us to a free space in the thick of the action. The field was already packed so it’s worth arriving even earlier to get a good space. Some people arrive at 2pm to watch the setup.
When the festival is over, the human traffic and vehicle build up leaving the area is absolute madness. So it is recommended to hang around until the majority of the crowds have left. The bonus point of doing this is that you get to see the monks themselves releasing their own lanterns in small groups. And then when the coast is clear you can leave without being crushed.
We also think its wise to choose a hotel that is closer to the action for those particular days when the Yi Peng festival is on. That way you won’t have to worry about being overcharged for transport to and from your accommodation. We have listed some of the closest hotels to the area above.
The last couple of years, there has been a tourist event set up after the actual Buddhist Yi Peng festival, charging $100 a ticket, for the exact same, free event the week before. Do some research to make sure you go to the right one! The date changes each year according to the Buddhist calendar, we found out the correct date by searching chiang mai events on facebook.
This map shows the exact location where the lanterns are released.
View Yi Peng Festival 10000 Sky Lantern Release Mae Jo University in a larger map
We hope you enjoy is amazing experience as much as we did!
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Jmayel, Sacha & Eden El-Haj