Chiang Mai Loy Krathong Festival Opening Ceremony 2015
This year, I celebrated the Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai. This is my second time visiting Chiang Mai since 2004 and my second time celebrating Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand.
The Loy Krathong Festival takes place on the night of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. In English calendar, it is usually falls in the month of November. The difference in celebrating Loy Krathong in Chiang is they celebrate it together with Yi Peng celebration. Yi Peng is Lanna (northern Thailand) celebration and they celebrate with using sky lanterns (khom loi). That’s why many people mistaken Yi Peng celebration as Loy Krathong and that explains why only Northern Thailand cities celebrate with sky lanterns.
Loy Krathong festival is to place floating “krahtong” into the river to pay respect to the river. The river is major source of food and income to Thais for centuries and Loy Krathong is the time of the year to repay respect. That’s why you can see many Thais gathered on the river banks and start to put their “krathongs” onto the river.
Loy Krathong celebration in Chiang Mai this year is the biggest so far. Annually, thousands of sky lanterns are set and it lit up the skies of Chiang Mai. For safety reasons, this year there was no flights allowed after 9 pm during the Yi Peng celebrations in Chiang Mai. This year is the first year of such rules.
Most roads to the city of Chiang Mai are blocked and most of the roads are very congested. We had to do a short walk to Loy Krathong Festival Opening Ceremony to avoid the traffic. The official opening ceremony is on 24 Nov 2015.
There are thousands of tourists from around the world at the opening ceremony of Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai. Most of them are couples, friends and also families.
There are beautiful huge “krathong” with colourful lights at the opening ceremony and tourists take turn taking pictures in front of it. The venue is packed but well control.
The opening ceremony is a short one with speeches, performances and dances before the fireworks starts to brighten the sky.
After the official opening ceremony, the festival starts with the street parade. This is not the largest street parade as the official street parade is on the third day of the festival which is on 26 Nov 2015. This is the first day of three days of non-stop Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai.
Day two is the highlight of the Loy Krathong Festival as the locals and the tourists celebrate Yi Peng with style. Thus, thousands of sky lanterns are lit up into the sky under the bright full moon. We will write our experience on Yi Peng soon, stay tuned and thanks for reading.