Light up your trip with Thailand lantern festival

Thailand is no doubt a really attractive destination for having plenty of festivals celebrated all year round. After the most famous Songkran Festival (Thai New Year Festival), many visitors are eager to join the Thailand lantern festival in fall with the breath-taking photos of thousands of burning lanterns flying into the sky.


Thailand lantern festival
Thailand lantern festival is celebrated in the fall

The lantern festival in Thailand

Here are the top 5 most frequently asked questions for the lantern festival in Thailand:

  1. When is the lantern festival held in 2020? The light festival is held on the full moon day of the 12th lunar month every year. This year, the lantern festival may fall for 31st October 2020
  2. Where is the lantern festival in Thailand? The lantern festival is celebrated nationwide. Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, and Bangkok are the best places to see the festivals in the country.
  3. How do people celebrate the lantern festival? Loy Krathong is the Thai name of the lantern festival. Here people release lotus-shaped baskets that are decorated with candles and flowers onto the rivers.
  4. What is special about the light festival in Chiang Mai? Yi Peng is another light festival held on the same day as the Loy Krathong in Northern Thailand, mostly in Chiang Mai. Lights are set into the sky lanterns that are decorated with good wishes and prayers. People then release the lanterns into the air.
  5. How to join the Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai? You can go online to purchase your entrance tickets. There are two places for Yi Peng Festival: Behind Mae Jo University, costs from US$300/person – this is mainly for locals and Chiang Mai Culture Art & Design from US$200/person – this is considered to be more delightful in the open air.


The lantern festival in Thailand
The lantern festival in Thailand is to represent optimism and new beginnings

Loy Krathong Festival

Loy Krathong literally means “floating basket”. These lanterns are hand made with the banana trees, banana leaves, flowers, and incense sticks. You can make you own or buy one for around 50-150 THB depending on the size and shape. On the day the festival occurs, you may find anywhere to sell this beautiful lantern.  

Loy Krathong has been celebrated throughout the country for centuries with the purpose to mark the end of the rainy season. People will gather around lakes, rivers, and canals to pay respects to the god of water then release the beautiful lotus-shaped rafts.

In Bangkok, the main Loy Krathong celebration has been held at Asiatique since 2013. Long ago, it was held along the banks of Wat Saket in the Old City which is still a popular place for travelers. For anyone around Khao San Road, head to the nearby Phra Athit Pier. If your hotels host a Loy Krathong event at their swimming pool area (contact your hotel for more information), you can try your hand at Loy Krathong, without fighting your way through crowds of people outside the public area.


The handmade lanterns
The handmade lanterns are releasing

Hotels located along the Chao Phraya River are especially popular. They often have Loy Krathong events combined with a special dinner and fireworks; such as Anantara Riverside Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, or Shangri La Hotel Bangkok. 

Yi Peng Festival

Thousands of burning lanterns lighting up and filling the night sky is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai, as well as an impressive moment that many visitors desire to have in their Thailand tours.

Historically, the Yi Peng Festival was the special holiday celebrated by the Lanna Kingdom of northern Thailand. Many believe that the time of the 12th full moon is when the moon will appear at its fullest and brightest that make the perfect time to wish for good fortune for the new calendar year.

As the release of the lantern at the water festival, the releasing of the lantern is considered as an act of releasing your bad luck into oblivion. 

Normally, a huge lantern release event takes place at Maejo University about a few days before Yi Peng. During the actual Yi Peng festival, Three Kings Monument, Thapae Gate, the Old Town moat area and the Ping River are the main locations where celebrations take place. You can choose to spend time at a rooftop bar to escape the crowds and see tranquil lanes with candles. 


Yi Peng Festival
Yi Peng Festival

Tips for a successful releasing your lanterns in Chiang Mai

  1. Purchase your favorite one as early as possible to avoid the sold-out when thousands of people seek for the lanterns on the day of celebration.
  2. You can consider buying the bigger lantern as it is easier to release than the small ones. 
  3. Write your wish on the lantern before lighting it up and sending it to the sky.
  4. As the paper is very thin, be careful not to tear the lantern.
  5. Launch the lantern on your own is quite hard, do not hesitate to ask for help surroundings.
  6. Do not forget to make a wish, light incense, and wait until the lantern is suitable to fly to the sky.

Suggested Thailand tours 2021


Linh Chu – Travel Specialist

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