Loy Krathong / Yi Peng Festival

Loy Krathong / Yee Ping Festival 2014

Coolest Holiday Ever

In Thailand, Yi Peng is an annual festival held on a full moon of the 2nd month of the Lanna calendar (Yi meaning “2nd” and Peng meaning “month” in the Lanna language). This translates into sometime in November on the conventional calendar. A multitude of Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom loi: “floating lanterns”) are simultaneously released where they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky. The festival is meant as a time for tham bun, to make merit. 

People usually make khom loi from a thin fabric, such as rice paper, to which a candle or fuel cell is attached. When the fuel cell is lit, the resulting hot air which is trapped inside the lantern creates enough lift for the khom loi to float up into the sky. In addition, people will also decorate their houses, gardens and temples with khom fai: intricately shaped paper lanterns which take on different forms. 

The most elaborate Yi Peng celebrations can be seen in Chiang Mai,the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom. These photos were taken in Chiang Mai at Mae Jo University.