Loy Krathong Festival: Bangkok VS Chiang Mai

Last Updated: January 07,2020

One of the most picturesque sight in Thailand is the night of Loy Krathong Festival, where people gather by lakes, rivers and canals to release their blessing basket or release sky lantern. This Siamese festival celebrated annually throughout the Kingdom of Thailand, among which Bangkok and Chiang Mai is the most popular places. Which one worthes the visit and what to expect in those two cities? We will tell you here. Follow us!

What exactly is Yi Peng in Chiang Mai & Loy Krathong in Bangkok?

Both events represent the tradition of the Festival of lights in Thailand. The Loy Krathong is celebrated by floating Krathong i.e. lanterns down the river while Yi Peng Festival (Chiang Mai lantern festival)is quite similar only with few exceptions including that it is celebrated in Northern Thailand and rather than floating lantern in the river, they are released in the sky. However, both are equally majestic and beautiful. 

A lot of people are familiar with this idea because of the emerging photographs all over social media. In Chiang Mai, both events happen almost simultaneously leading to a series of events. The Yi Peng celebration here is the largest in the country! 

The idea behind releasing lanterns in the sky is to release your bad luck away from you. It's best if the lantern disappears before the fire goes out. You can also make a wish for good fortune when releasing the lanterns; however, that's not really the main theme. Floating Loy Krathong also works on a similar idea. Krathong is decorated with flowers and candles which are used as a symbol to pay respect to Buddha. Similarly floating away of Krathong is meant to let go of all your hatred and anger while concurrently thanking the Thai goddess of water, Phra Mae Khongkha.

See more: completed information about Loy Krathong Festival

You Might Like To Book: Loy Krathong Tours

How do Yee Peng & Loy Krathong celebrate?

Apart from the main event, the event is filled with activities which usually begin 1 week prior to the events. Yi Peng, the main event is lantern release whereas in Loy Krathong the main event is releasing Krathong in the river. Comparatively, Yi Peng is more organized, and the event is scheduled according to time whereas Loy Krathong is mostly people going on their own to the river (mostly in the evening) and releasing their Krathong with other tourists. 

It's always a great idea to get to Chiang Mai a week or more before the actual event to have an actual idea about the days and duration of the festival. Calendars for such events are not very formal but you can always get your hands on one once you reach the place.

Read more about how Thai people celebrate during Loy Krathong Festival:

Traditional Activities & Celebration in Loy Krathong Festival

Unique celebration in Bangkok Loy Krathong Festival

  • Mister and Miss Yi Peng contest & Grand firework celebration

During this time of the year, Bangkok looks all heavenly. The buildings are beautifully decorated with lights and many resorts and hotels host parties for the celebration of Yi Peng and Loy Krathong..

  • Release a Krathong into the Chao Phraya River

Celebrating this event on Chao Phraya River gives it a distinct value. 190 docks are opened for people, so they can conveniently float the Krathong. Floating Krathong with so many people from a different origin is such a unique experience. All of this happens during a magnificent firework show. 

Read more about floating flower basket: 

Best Guides of Floating Flower Basket in Loy Krathong Festival

Unique celebration in Chiang Mai Yee Ping Festival

  • Young Monk Ceremony at Wat Phan Tao

A beautiful Buddhist temple made in the 14th century is decorated with gorgeous lanterns around 100s of them which are illuminated with 1000s of candles. It gives such an amazing site. However, these days, this place is limited for tourist attraction for showcasing the aesthetic beauty of this place on social media rather than locals participating in the event.  

  • Thousands of Sky Lantern Release

Yi Peng is a lantern floating event; thousands of lanterns are released in the sky at the same time giving a scene as if jellyfishes are flying up in the sky.

Read more: Everything & Guides about Loy Krathong Sky Lanterns in Thailand

  • Grand processional through the city (near the East Gate of Pha Thae Gate) 

Located close to East Gate of Pha Thae Gate, this festival not only includes the majestic arrangement of lights but also other activities including Thai dance shows, 'Yee Peng Parade', handicraft sessions along with living music. All of this happens around Old city gate and down Tha Phae Road. 

Do you need tickets for the festival?

There are no tickets for the festival. Yes, it's free. Also, it happens in different places, so you can opt accordingly. 

Loy Krathong in Bangkok – for free

Floating Krathong festival in Bangkok is usually celebrated on the gates of Asiatique along with various cultural performance including dances and theatrical plays. It is mostly celebrated on River and other centers or parks having lakes. The great news is: it's very feasible to reach and is free. Whereas the Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai has public events that are free but the festival itself is paid. 

These festivals take place on River Ping and Tha Phae Gate. Traditionally, the lantern release celebration is divided into two groups: one for locals i.e. free, the other is English i.e. paid. 

The paid one is the Yee Peng Festival is a unique festival and happens during the time of Loy Krathong event.  

See more: Ultimate Guide about Loy Krathong Festival in Bangkok

Yeepeng Lanna International is unique to Chiang Mai

If you are not into watching sceneries and you are also not fond of planned tours filled with activities throughout the day, then you can always visit Yeepeng Lanna International. Here you can see people floating beautiful lanterns into the sky, giving the whole sky a magnificent view. You can even take part in this and get your own lantern for around US$100. It is really a thrilling experience.

See more: Ultimate Guide about Loy Krathong Festival in Chiang Mai

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