Some people spent months, years, planning for this week.
Once a year comes Yi Peng, the lantern festival, and Loi Krathong, the water festival.
Us? We just wanted to see Northern Thailand. Funny enough we arrived the week that both festivals coincided in Chiang Mai. Yi Peng refers to the “second full moon day,” according to the Lanna lunar calendar (or the 12th month on the Thai lunar calendar). It celebrates the large November moon with paper lanterns set off into the sky. A “krathong” is a ‘floating basket’, often adorned with food offerings for the spirits or beautiful flowers to be sent down the river at night to pay respect to water spirits.
We celebrated by setting off a lantern from Wat Bubparam and it went perfectly. Just kidding…we almost dropped it while it was aflame. But a smooth recovery led to a beautiful send off and our lucky lantern joined a sky dotted with floating fire.
As this was our first night in Thailand, we also made sure to welcome ourselves with traditional food, music, and events at the festivals and the Night Bazaar.