Mark your calendars!
Thailand’s annual Loi Krathong & Yi Ping festivals will take place in the beginning of November during the National Peace Corps Association’s Next Step Travel trip operated by Discover Corps. These are festivals that dot the bucket lists of many travelers and cultural enthusiasts alike.
Imagine the sky filled with lanterns gently floating upwards. Rivers, lakes and oceans glow as small floats made of flowers and banana leaf drift with the currents.
Loi, meaning float, and Krathong, being translated as a lotus-shaped container which floats on the water, is an annual festival that is celebrated throughout Thailand on the evening of the full moon on the 12th month of the Thai lunar calendar. Locals adorn small floats made from banana leaves with colorful flowers, incense, candles and spiritual offerings. These krathongs symbolize the letting go of hatred, anger and any other negative emotions that may consume you while the candle venerates Buddha.
In the north of Thailand, the Yi Ping festival coincides with Loi Krathong. Locals celebrate by creating elaborate floating lanterns made from rice paper and attached to small candles. Similar to the krathongs, Thais release these lanterns into the sky to as spiritual offerings, often with small wishes attached to them.
The result is a once a year phenomenon where the sky illuminates and the rivers glow bright. People often liken it to “giant fluorescent jellyfish” taking over the sky.
Chiang Mai, the location of our Home Base, is the best place to witness this amazing cultural tradition. So join us on our next trip in November.
What will your wish be?