this is the reason why i travelled thousands of miles to chiang mai for. the yi peng lantern festival is chiang mai's version of loy kratong. instead of letting off lighted flower boats into the river, residents in chiang mai release lana-styled lighted khom loi (paper lanterns) into the skies. yi peng literally means full moon and is celebrated on the 2nd full moon of the lana calender.
thanks to derek, bern and al, i was able to witness a magnificent sight of one thousand of these lanterns released at once at the du dong kasa tan (pardon my thai). i believe the event was held at the phae gate along the ping river. witnessing the dark sky lit up by these orange glowing lanterns left me awe-struck.
while the origins of this festival concours with my religious beliefs, i was fascinated by the beauty of the mass display of light ascending, of hope and dreams. the pratice of lantern letting is derived from brahim belief of floating away evil,or in worships of the god shiva who resides mid-ocean. the thais, on the other hand, derived the tradition from the buddha left his footprints on the banks of the full moon in twelfth month.
will i visit again? defintely and soon, before throngs of badly behaved tourists turn this alluring event into a commercial amusement park.
more photos to follow.