If you happen to be on a Thailand Holiday in November, congratulations! You may have the chance to witness a massive of floating lanterns rising into the night sky of Chiang Mai during the Yi/Yee Peng (Floating Lantern) Festival. The festival is so colorful that it's almost worth timing your trip around it.
The Yee Peng Floating Lantern festival is a popular festival in Northern Thailand to pay respect to Buddha and the most elaborate celebration is seen in Chiang Mai. The festival follows the ancient lunar calendar and is celebrated on a different date every year. This year, it is reported to take place from Nov.15 to 17. The lanterns are made of a thin fabric, attached with a candle or fuel cell. When the fuel cell is lit, the hot air inside the lanterns lifts them to float up into the sky. The releasing of lanterns marks the time to make merit, release your sins, and to make wishes. When thousands of glowing lanterns float in the sky, your cares and worries float away too.
Tips: The venue for releasing lanterns is some 18 km from the Old City of Chiang Mai. You're suggested to get there before 6 pm and dress appropriately, meaning no bare shoulders and short pants. In addition, you'd better not buy your own lanterns, which might not be brought in.
Want to seize the magic moment when the night sky of Chiang Mai is filled with floating lanterns? Check out this 13-Day Thailand Tour with Wildlife including 3 nights in Chiang Mai. By the way, Thailand is planning to charge foreigners entry fee from January next year, why not plan your trip right now?