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Chiang Mai Mail celebrates 7th anniversary at Networking One

Crowds throng Tha Pae Gate and the Ping River to release krathongs and lanterns


Chiang Mai Mail celebrates 7th anniversary at Networking One


Crowds throng Tha Pae Gate and the Ping River to release krathongs and lanterns

Flights to Chiang Mai halted after 9 p.m. to ensure aviation safety

Chumporn Saengmanee, Chiang Mai’s Governor (2nd from right),
 Boonlert Buranupakorn, President of Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization (3rd from right), and Ken Santitham, Municipal Clerk of Chiang Mai (4th from right), light joss sticks for the flower offering at the opening of Yipeng Festival at Three Kings Monument.

Story by Supoj Thiamyoj / Photos by Jedsadapong Wongkiew & Nopniwat Krailerg
Huge crowds of tourists and residents saw the opening day of Chiang Mai’s Yipeng Festival, or small Loy Krathong, commence with a parade from the Tha Pae Gate on the 2nd. There were 17 beautifully decorated floats created by members of the local community, temples, schools, and municipal offices, all competing for “Best Float” Many floats featured traditional Lanna dancers and culture.

Ken Santitham, Municipal Clerk of Chiang Mai Municipality, and his wife ready to float their krathongs.

The winners for floats with best concepts were the Mae Yuak community, Wat Koo Tao community, Wat Muang Lang community, respectively, and the winners for floats with best designs were Boromrajonani College of Nursing, Thammaratch Suksa School, Saen Fang Temple.
All flights were scheduled to arrive at the Chiang Mai International Airport before 9 p.m. so as to allow residents free rein in letting their lanterns loose in the sky without having to worry about aviation safety.

The Yipeng Queen in traditional Lanna clothing releases a lantern.

The city was alight with the fires from countless krathongs and lanterns set out by residents and tourists. Traditionally, the krathong, replete with fingernail and hair fragments, is released to free oneself of all anger and resentments in order to start life afresh, for many it is also an opportunity to apologize to the goddess of water.The moat’s fountains glowed from specially installed underwater lights, while the roads from Tha Pae Gate to the Three Kings Monument were illuminated by about 10,000 Lanna-style hanging lanterns. Lanterns from Japan, China and America were on display at Tha Pae Gate. A free concert was held next to the Chiang Mai Governor’s house and 2,000 fireworks were shot from the center of Mae Ping River in front of Chiang Mai Municipality Office in honor of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 82nd birthday.

Foreign tourists join with Chiang Mai residents to release lanterns during Yipeng Festival.
On the final day of the Yipeng Festival in Chiang Mai, or the Grand Krathong Day, the roads from Tha Pae Gate to the Chiang Mai Municipality Office, in front of the Mae Ping River, were filled to the brim with tourists and residents for an even larger and more grandiose parade comprising of 31 floats. This year, organizations, associations, temples, companies, governments and educational institutions in Chiang Mai sent their floats to compete in the contest for prize money and the Queen Sirikit trophy.
Mae Jo University won the grand prize for best float, the: Queen Sirikit trophy. Far Eastern University’s float took first place in the first category (for associations, companies, government and private organizations and universities) while second and third place went to Chiang Mai University and Chiang Mai Rajabhat University. In the second category (for schools, communities, groups and temples), the Sipan Group of Independent Arts won first place and Mubankru Technology School Chiang Dao Branch and the Prachao Lanna Ajarn Buawiratlert Group won second and third place respectively.
Chiang Mai Municipality hosts the Yipeng Festival each year to celebrate and preserve the Lanna culture and to promote the province as a tourist destination. It was estimated that 500 million baht was brought into Chiang Mai during the Yipeng Festival.

Floats representing krathongs made by different
organizations in Chiang Mai pass by in the parade.

University students in Chiang Mai present Lanna culture in the Yipeng parade.

Elephant sculture in the parade that started from Tha Pae Gate and finished at the Chiang Mai Municipality Office.

A couple releases a lantern into the sky.

A lantern featuring Chiang Mai’s panda family is released.

The biggest rotating Lanna lanterns in the parade.

University students from Chiang Mai present their own float.

Students from different schools in Chiang Mai
make krathongs from natural materials.