Friday, 1 July 2011

Yi Peng – The Amazing Thai Buddhist Lantern Ceremony

The first time I visited Thailand in 1996 I visited Chiang Mai and was astonished one evening when out walking to see numerous fires in the sky. I thought I was dreaming that in Thailand the stars appeared as fires by some strange quirk of nature. No I hadn’t been drinking merely observing the annual Loy Krathong lantern ceremony.

Thousands of Lanna-style sky lanterns (khom loi or translated "floating lanterns" ) glide into the night sky where they resemble large swarms of giant fluorescent jellyfish floating serenely through the sky.

The lantern festival is meant as a time for 'tamboon' or to make merit. These sky lanterns are constructed from thin fabric under which a candle or source of flame is attached. When lit, the hot air gets trapped inside the fabric of the sky lantern creating enough lift for it to float high into the sky.

The most extensive Yi Peng celebrations are in Chiang Mai the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom. The tradition of Yi Peng was also celebrated by certain parts of neighbouring Laos during the 1500s.

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

1 comment:

  1. Copyright law states that you have to credit the image of the lantern festival to or otherwise remove it. See its license here ->