Usually every week I like to pick out and feature some exotic location I hope to one day travel to. But this week I’d like to present less of a place and more a particular event; to be specific, the Lanna festival of Yi Peng in Thailand.
Lanna, the area of Northern Thailand, is known to employ the use of ‘sky lanterns’ for celebration throughout the year, but the Yi Peng festival is the most well known. It is held on the night of a full moon, and it involves the launching of several lanterns into the sky. Wikipedia, at the most poetic I’ve ever seen it, describes the lanterns as such: “they resemble large flocks of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating by through the sky.” No reason to try and improve on such a flowery description.
The lanterns function in about the same way as a hot air balloon, but it’s not the mechanics of the floating lanterns that interest me, and honestly I know very little about the reasons for the festival itself. What piques my interest about the Yi Peng festival is the effect created by thousands of lanterns being simultaneously released into the night sky :
When just a photo is this breathtaking, I can’t imagine what it must be like to actually be present. Here’s a few more shots, but if you simply Google image the festival you’ll be bombarded with stunning photographs. I don’t think it’s possible to take a bad picture of an event like this.
I tend to be sentimental regarding any sort of ceremony or gathering that peacefully bring people together such as this one, and the added touch of beauty and otherworldliness brought by the lanterns only adds to the emotion. Why the contraptions haven’t caught on over on this half of the planet I don’t know, but there’s absolutely no denying their beauty.
Mark Northern Thailand down on the list of places I need to get myself to stat.