The giant lanterns to release held annually in Mae Jo near Chiang Mai is one of the most photogenic events organised for Loy Krathong in Thailand. It seems that this year, Mae Jo event won’t be free…
If the sky lanterns release organized by the controversial (and venal) Dhammakaya Foundation is not the official Yee Peng Festival, I must say that the Buddhist Foundation is very good at organizing spectacular events.
We tried to find out some details about what was planned for the 2015 edition and did not get any response from Chiang Mai TAT contacted by mail and this is one of our contacts in Chiang Mai (thanks Marco) that finally gave us the latest news about yee Peng Festival at Mae Jo confirmed by Thaizer.
This year there will only be one lanterns release at Mae Jo and it will take place on November 25 and will be … NOT FREE ! No free realease in Mae Jo in 2015. The decision apparently is due to an announcement of Chiang Mai provincial authorities that will only allow lanterns to be launched in the sky on Yee Peng Festival day (and Loy Krathong day) : November 25.
So it is that day that the Dhammakaya Foundation will hold its Yee Peng International Festival with those who have booked in advance (around 3,500 baht). Quite mercantile for a buddhist event even if organizers justify this fee by the need to limit the crowd for security reasons. It is up to you to decide if you want to pay that kind of money or not. Personally, I do not encourage you to go.
Off course, the Yee Peng Festival is also held in Chiang Mai city and even if the most impressive lanterns release usually takes place in Mae Jo, hundreds of sky lanterns will also be launched on November 25 around the walls of Chiang Mai town center and especially in the area around the Thapae Gate and on the banks of the Ping River.
And if going to Mae Jo is not a good idea, you will still see beautiful ceremonies in the temples like the candles ceremony at Wat Pan Tao. So don’t worry, you’ll appreciate spending Loy Krathong and Yee Peng Festival in Chiang Mai in 2015 anyway !
Things can still change, we are in Thailand! 😉 I will keep you informed on Thailandee.com Facebook page as usual.