Yee Peng —also Yi Peng — is a northern Thai festival that is celebrated on the full moon of the twelfth month of the Thai lunar calendar — for the most part in November. This year, it falls on November 27 to 28. The ‘Celebration of Lights’ was adapted from Brahmin starting points and has strong ties to the ancient Lanna Kingdom. Yee Peng was once celebrated as a separate event to mark the end of the storm season and the beginning of the cool season; however, it is now celebrated in conjunction with Loy Krathong. Although other towns and cities in northern Thailand celebrate Yee Peng, Chiang Mai is the best place to experience this truly mysterious celebration.
History of Yi Peng Festival
Yi Peng Festival is a Thai celebration held on the evening of the twelfth month’s full moon in the traditional lunar calendar. It is an ancient celebration adapted from Brahmin origins and is inextricably linked with Thai Lanna culture. The Lanna culture dates back to the 13th century and is based on Buddhist and Hindu customs.
Yi Peng is a popular festival in northern Thailand that is deeply rooted in the ancient Lanna kingdom. Adapted from Brahmin origins, it was initially celebrated as a singular event in its own right denoting the end of the blustery season and the start of winter.
Yi Peng is held concurrently with Loy Krathong. Events are held all over northern Thailand, but Chiang Mai has become akin to Yi Peng. During Yi Peng and Loy Krathong, there will be lights and spectacular processions all over Chiang Mai.
Brilliant lamp shows are set up at the “Three Kings Monument,” “Thapae Gate,” and various doors around the canal that encompasses Chiang Mai’s Old Town area. Coconut leaves and blossoms adorn the front passageways of sanctuaries and families.
On Yi Peng Day — the evening of the full moon for Loy Krathong,— lights or candles are also lit and placed at entrances to shops, homes, and temples. Making the lamps or donating them to sanctuaries is one method of gaining merit, and the radiance of light is important in Buddhist culture because it addresses the transition from obscurity to a more promising future.
Yi Peng Festival timeline
Early evidence emerges of paper lantern designs.
The Lantern Festival begins during the Han administration.
The Chinese look into various options for small sight-seeing balloons.
The Yi Peng Lantern Festival begins in the antiquated Lanna Kingdom.
Yi Peng Festival FAQs
Is Yi Peng a religious festival?
Yi Peng has deep roots in Buddhism and remains a religious event.
What are the distinguishing features of the Yi Peng Festival?
The main major difference between the two festivals is the type of lanterns used. At Yi Peng, floating sky lanterns are used, whereas, at Loi Krathong, water lanterns are offered to the river deities.
What do sky lamps represent?
The sky lantern event has come to symbolize letting go of one’s deepest fears and desires. It is a symbolic cleansing, a letting go of all that bothers you. It also marks the start of a new, educated you, with the light enlightening the path of understanding and righteousness.
How to Observe Yi Peng Festival
Create a light show
Flying lit lanterns is the signature of the Yi Peng Lantern Festival. Under the cover of the night sky, groups put on light fairs and shows.
Appreciate time with family or your significant other
Gathering with families and eating out is essential. Spend this Lantern festival relaxing and having a good time with your loved ones.
Decorate your home
You can decorate your home with paper lamps of different styles and shapes. It is viewed as good fortune to gift someone a sky lamp.
5 Interesting Facts About Yi-Peng
Religious festival with deep roots
Many people believe the Yi peng Lantern Festival originated in India and was inspired by the legend of the light-bearing bird who visited Buddha to discuss merit.
New beginnings and good fortune
When you throw your light or Krathong into a river or a high place, you should wish all of your worries and misfortune away with it because it is a symbol of new beginnings.
Yi Peng-inspired movies
The romantic lantern scene in Disney's “Tangled” is inspired by Yi Peng's idea of a light celebration.
The wonderful paper lights that are delivered high up in the air every November are known as ‘khom loi’ or ‘khom fai.’
The festival is among the traditions held in honor of Buddha.
Why Yi Peng Festival is Important
Promoting a positive attitude
The Yi-Peng Lantern Festival encourages forgiveness, peace, and love. We will undoubtedly achieve a positive spirit if we follow through on the events of today in a healthy manner.
We come together with family and friends
The Yi-Peng lantern Festival is full of color, fun, positivity, happiness, hope, love, and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. This is a family-friendly holiday that can be enjoyed by all.
Yi Peng was traditionally celebrated as a separate event to mark the end of the monsoon season and the start of the cool season. Now, it is celebrated in conjunction with Loy Krathong.
Yi Peng Festival dates