Thailand’s Yee Peng festival (sometimes written as ‘Yi Peng’) is celebrated annually on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month in Chiang Mai. The festival begins with a city-wide decoration of lanterns and candles to mark the start of the celebration at the Three Kings Monument. The festival last a few days and includes visually amazing events such as the sky lantern festival and Loi Krathong.
The opening ceremonies begin with thousands of locals dancing with lit candles to mark the start of the festival. Many tens of thousands of people cram into the streets and sidewalks around the Three Kings Temple to watch the performances.
On the second night, air traffic around Chiang Mai is halted for hours to give way for hundreds of thousands lanterns to be released into the sky. Locals and tourists gather along the Nawarat Bridge and shores of the Ping River to construct the rice paper lanterns and ignite the fuel to lift it high into the skies above Chiang Mai. There is another private festival a few hours outside of the city that is more commercialized and requires tickets that are extremely limited. For those wanting to see the sky lantern release, the local festival is more than amazing.
The final night of the festival concludes with a massive release of Krathong along with Ping River.
The Yee Peng festival dates shift year-to-year due to the lunar cycle and are typically mid-November’ish.