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Loi Krathong (Yee Peng): An Unexpected Pleasure in Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Celebrating Loi Krathong and Yee Peng in Chiang Mai…

Wikipedia: Loi Krathong (Thai: ลอยกระทง) coincides with the Lanna (northern Thai) festival known as Yi Peng (Thai: ยี่เป็ง). Yi means “two” and peng means a “full moon day”. Yi Peng refers to the full moon day in the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar (the twelfth month according to the Thai lunar calendar).

I had no plans to join the Loi Krathong / Yee Peng festivities but last night I was persuaded. Twenty minutes before my ride showed up I was googling instructions on night photography.

We first went down by the river, slipping and sliding through the mud churned up by the thousands of people who were setting off fireworks, letting Krathongs go in the river, and releasing lanterns into the sky. Most of the westerners were crowded around the moat in the middle of town (they missed a real Thai time – seriously).

I found night photography to be unnerving as well as exhilarating, and now I’m hooked. Below are just a few of the shots that came out.

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

The last photo is of a guy chest deep in the river where the Krathongs were set off. Several theories have been put forward but I’m not sure what he’s doing. Does anyone know?

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

6 Comments

  1. Nice write up, and pic’s.

    Yes, the guy is most probably one of the guys that each year, that make large homemade ‘bombs’ that they drop in the river, (normally from a bridge) and makes a very large noise and water spray. The police been clamping down for years in CNX, and now everyone has a camera on there phone, guess there being more careful not to be exposed.

  2. Good write up and pic’s.

    Just wrote and posted though it’s lost ‘wordpress error. So will be brief now.

    Yes, they make homemade ‘ bombs, normally chucked off the bridges…

  3. Alex, thank you for your information. I never would have guessed it was bombs (I only thought it had to do with the krathongs).

    No WP error. First time posters and any comments with links need to be approved first. It keeps out spam.

  4. He’s taking the coins out of the krathongs.

  5. And people are just standing there letting him? Oddness. But I’ve seen that sort of passiveness before here so I’m not really surprised.

  6. For more on the guy stealing coins: Idiot ruins Loy Krathong spirit by stealing cash from people’s floats (VIDEO)

    “This is his part-time job? He knocked down my flowers,” someone said in the video.
    “He has just ruined people’s dreams and beliefs!” another narrated.

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