Yi Peng and Loy Krathong in Chiang Mai – the Floating Lantern and River Goddess Festivals

Yi-peng celebration in Chiang mai

The Yi Peng festival of Chiang Mai is a unique celebration in Northern Thailand that coincides with Loy Krathong, which is celebrated throughout the country. Chiang Mai is the old capital of the Lanna Kingdom, which for many years co-existed independently with Siam. The North part of Thailand still has a certain character and charm that differs from the rest of the country. This is especially reflected in local festivals … Continue reading…

Mysterious Naga Fireballs in the Mekong River

naga-stairway-temple-guardian-wat-ram-poeng-chiang-mai

There is a strange phenomena that occurs every year in the Mekong River along the boundary between Thailand and Laos. This unexplained event is known in Thai as บั้งไฟพญานาค bang-fai phaya-nak, or the “Naga Fireballs”. The Naga is a mythical serpent of Indian and Southeast Asian legends. They are similar to dragons and occupy a position somewhere between gods and animals in the grand scheme of the universe. The Naga … Continue reading…

Buddhist New Year’s Eve at a Thai Temple

New-year-at-wat-phra-singh-chiang-mai

With so many people rushing around the city to get drunk before the clock turned twelve, it was nice to see local Thai people gather at the temple to ring in the New Year. Thousands gathered at Wat Phra Singh in the middle of Chiang Mai’s old city to make offerings, sit in meditation, and chant prayers. By the time we showed up, a little after 11 pm, it was … Continue reading…

Offering Food to 12,999 Monks in Chiang Mai, Thailand

offer food to monks in chiang mai

On the morning of Sunday, December 30, 2012, a great gathering of 12,999 Buddhist monks was assembled in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a food offering ceremony. For weeks prior to the event you could see signs all over town advertising the event. The number 12,999 was featured very prominently on these signs. Nine is considered an auspicious number in Thai culture, so that is no wonder why they chose to … Continue reading…