Raise The Lanterns! The Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai


To be honest: I had no idea that the festival of lights will be happening during my time in Thailand. THE one and only lantern festival everyone dreams about who happens to own a Lonelyplanet guide for Thailand.

yee peng

Before my trip I thought the famous lantern festival would be Loy Krathong. If I understood Thai any better, uhm, I mean if I understood Thai at all, I would have known that this is NOT the festival with the lanterns but the one with the decorated, little boat-like pots which are put on the water. But by chance fate loved me that day and so I got to know about Yee Peng, a festival (THE ONE WITH THE LANTERNS) which only happens in Northern Thailand. During the same time as Loy Krathong. And so I stood there last night with my mouth open and stared into the lantern-flooded sky.

yee peng lantern festival chiang mai

Before you raise your lantern you can make a wish. Here you see Daniel of CanvasOfLight and his wife making a wish… One wish per lantern. Just to be on the safe side I’ve bought three lanterns…


The Yee Peng Festival is the Northern Thailand version of Loy Krathong and happens each year during the full moon of the 12th month of the Thai calendar, resp. the 2nd month of the Lanna calender, which is normally in November.

There’s one huge ceremony at the Lanna Duthanka Buddhist Center, close to the Mae Jo University. You really should get there on time (around 4pm) to get a good spot. The lanterns are raised at around 7:30 pm. 15 – 20 min later everything is over.

One lantern costs 100 Baht.

There’s apparently a Thai and a tourist version of this ceremony. We’ve been to the Thai version at Lanna Duthanka Buddhist Center, the tourist version happens one week after the Thai ceremony and there’s reputedly a 80$ entrance fee. Please inform yourself beforehand when and where which ceremony happens. We had the luck to know people in Chiang Mai who told us.

Have you been to Yee Peng Festival? Or is it still on your bucket list?

Hi, I'm Yvonne. Travel addict. Guilty as charged. Right now I'm probably falling off a camel somewhere in a desert, getting a new tattoo from a monk in Thailand or am carrying my luggage through a river in the jungle. But just as well I could be sitting on my sofa in Berlin, in my pyjamas. Good girls to to heaven, bad girls go everywhere. Everywhere sounds much more promising. So be travelous and follow me!

Discussion6 Comments

  1. absolutely amazing it must have been wonderful, thanks for capturing the moment! I’m using it as a desktop background! 🙂

  2. Congrats for your blog.
    Could you please help me to know when is the lantern Ye Peng festival this year.
    Thank you very much Ivonne

  3. Me And My future husband are going tp Chiang mai for This festival. Do You think is better To Book It before or directly from There? Thank you

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