Thousands Brave Rain to Celebrate Loy Krathong and Yi Peng

 | Fri 7 Nov 2014 23:48 ICT

CityNews – Thousands of residents and visitors braved the rain to join Chiang Mai’s Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festivities yesterday.
Tourists and locals gather near Thapae Gate for the festivities yesterday. Photo: Weerasak Panyachod.

Activities were held outside the Chiang Mai Municipality Office in the morning, including traditional Buddhist rituals and the release of 90 sky lanterns.

One Australian tourist, Susan Jones, said she was so impressed by the atmosphere in Chiang Mai at Loy Krathong last year that she decided to come back again.

Many tourists and residents also visited temples and other attractions in downtown Chiang Mai, causing traffic jams on some roads. CityNews reported earlier this week that 200,000 tourists were expected for the festivals, according to tourism officials.

Vendors have been selling sky lanterns and krathongs on the streets for the past few days, and for the past two evenings there have been krathong processions from Thapae Gate.

The roads around Nawarat Bridge and the Iron Bridge have been closed in the evenings in order to prevent accidents. Many people gathered in the area over the past two nights to released lanterns and float krathongs in the Ping river.

Since the area is close to the Chiang Mai governor’s residence, officials had banned alcohol and giant fireworks there.

The festival of Loy Krathong is celebrated across Thailand, as well as in Laos and parts of eastern Burma, by people floating krathong – decorated baskets – on rivers.

It coincides with the northern Thai festival of Yi Peng, which is celebrated by people launching Lanna-style sky lanterns. According to traditional belief, releasing the lanterns releases bad luck at the same time. The celebrations will continue this evening.