U.S. Consulate General to Join 2018 Chiang Mai Yee Peng

 | Thu 22 Nov 2018 08:07 ICT

Press Release

To celebrate 200 years of U.S.-Thai friendship and enduring U.S. relations with northern Thailand, the U.S. Consulate General will join the Yi Peng (Loy Krathong) Festival Parade in Chiang Mai this year. The Consulate’s float in the November 23 procession will be led by Consul General Jennifer Harhigh.

The U.S. Krathong float will depict the story of the first contact between our two nations in 1818, when an American sea captain entered the port of Bangkok and then brought back to America a letter from Minister Dit Bunnag to President James Monroe to convey the wishes of His Majesty King Rama II to establish trade between the United States and the Kingdom of Siam. The letter was dated August 15, 1818, and marks the beginning of the deep friendship between our two nations. Throughout 2018, the U.S. Mission in Thailand has been celebrating this bicentennial throughout the Kingdom, telling the story of how 200 years of cooperation between the United States and Thailand—in trade, education, health, and security—has made both Thailand and America stronger, safer, and more prosperous.

The U.S. Consulate’s procession will include over 60 American and Thai Consulate staff and family members, as well as alumni of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a youth leadership exchange program supported by the U.S. government. It will also feature the Chiang Mai Swing Dance Group, who will perform American swing dances.

“I feel truly honored to participate in this year’s Yi Peng Festival as a representative of the United States. Our float this year commemorates 200 years of the shared bonds of friendship between the people of America and the people of Thailand. That friendship began under Rama II and has grown ever stronger, including now during the reign of His Majesty King Rama X. By participating in the Yi Peng Festival, we are able to share that wonderful story with new generations who will carry on our friendship into the future. As our American and Thai families walk together through this beautiful city during the parade, we reflect on the rich Lanna culture which is admired around the world and feel so fortunate to be a part of this inspiring tradition,” Consul General Harhigh said.