I remember seeing the beautiful pictures of hundreds of lanterns floating into the sky while browsing the internet a long time ago. It looked magical! I read a bit more about Yee Peng, or Yi Peng that takes place in northern Thailand. I immediately knew that it was something I had to experience in person!
There may be some confusion regarding this event. There use to be a free mass lantern launch taking place in Chiang Mai. But because the event has become so popular among tourists, they decided to only do one mass launch which is a ticketed event these past couple years. So the original free event has not taken place these past couple years. Nobody knows if they will bring it back. If this is something you are truly interested in experiencing, you must buy tickets through a few sites and buy them way in advance since the event only allows a certain amount of people.
Yi Peng translated from Lanna is Yi meaning “2nd” and Peng meaning “month”. Yi Peng is held on the full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar. The exact dates change yearly, but it’s usually held in mid to late November.
So it can be difficult knowing the exact date it takes place. It usually is not announced until later on, but you will still want to plan your Thailand trip. I did research on various websites and travel forums to find the most consistent date, which happened to be November 14th. I made sure we were in Chiang Mai a day earlier and a couple days longer just in case it happen to be another nearby date.
I bought the tickets from CM Stay. The ticket includes entry, transportation, a souvenir bag, water, and a few food vouchers. The shuttle picked us up from our hotel and we were on our way to the venue near Mae Jo University at the Lanna Dhutanka grounds. Seats are assigned and we were given a large sky lantern per two people. We were each given a sky lantern as a souvenir as well!
You are expected to wear respectable clothing – covered shoulders, long pants, and white tops are encouraged. It’s no surprise that we hung out around the food area until it was time to take our seats.
An annoucement was made once it was time for everybody to take their seats. The ceremony was about to begin!
It was a lovely night and the ceremony was beautiful. I’m so glad I can check this off my bucket list! In addition to this ticketed event, you’ll actually find most of the locals and other tourists celebrating on various streets throughout Chiang Mai as well. So definitely look into tickets if you’re interested in the International celebration, but don’t stress if you cannot get tickets, you can always celebrate on the streets as well!
Yee Peng Lanna International
Chiang Mai, Thailand