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Images from Yi Peng and Loi Krathong Festival, Mae Sai and Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand

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Tha Lanna (Northern Thai) festival of Li Peng coincides with the Loi Krathong festival. The later is characterized more by floating lotus shaped containers in rivers (loi means to float and krathong means lotus shaped vessel). We were fortunate enough to be in Sukhothai, the city where Loi Krathong is said to have originated, on the first night of the festival.

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The former Lanna Kingdom, now Northern Thailand, traditionally celebrated Yi Peng, characterized by sky lanterns, or khom loi (floating lanterns), which transform the sky into a sea of glowing jellyfish. The northern cities of Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai celebrate both Loi Krathong and Yi Peng simultaneously, so there are lights floating magically above, below (along rivers) and beside you at all times. There are also a plethora of food stands, games, and even concerts and beauty pageants. In Chiang Mai, there are cultural parades with very elaborate and brightly lit floats.

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It is tradition to write your wish on your lantern before you send it off into the night’s sky. After lighting the incense-like coil, you must hold the lantern upright and let the fire burn for about a minute or two, allowing for a hot-air build up to give the lantern the lift it needs. Once you let it go into the sky, you send your bad luck with it, and your written wishes will come true.

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These images are all from Chiang Mai and Mae Sai, near the Thai border with Laos and Myanmar (The Golden Triangle) from the night of the full moon, which is the height of the celebration.

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The incense-like coils burn slowly, allowing the lantern to float loftily until it is out of site.

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Regular fireworks are not as common, but the are readily available and used. Here, the boys are shooting off good ‘ole fashioned roman candles.

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Locals line the Mekong River to send their luck and wishes up into the sky.

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The full moon made a great showing.

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I love this image of the lanterns floating up towards the full moon.

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Thanks for stopping by!

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3 Responses to Images from Yi Peng and Loi Krathong Festival, Mae Sai and Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand

  1. Sara Catella December 10, 2012 at 3:17 PM #

    Amazing :)))

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