Oct 7, 2014

Loy Krathong in Mae Jo: Really an Adventure

See the location on Lanna Dhutanka Temple ธุดงคสถานล้านนา and Meditation Centre Google Map

Khom Loy lanterns in Mae Jo. Picture fredalix - อาลิกส์

In Mae Jo แม่โจ้ (about 20km North from Chiang Mai) the a ceremony with mass release of Khom Loy lanterns is usually hold at the Lanna Dhutanka temple (behind Mae Jo University) on Saturday night of the weekend before Loy Krathong. At our visit two years ago it was magical: The full moon rose just in the middle of the round place in front of the wat, where far over tenthousand people gathered for the event.

Picture marhas1
Full moon over the temple in Mae Jo

Everybody sat on the floor for hours, taking part in long Buddhist prayers. Patience was needed, before the highlight of the night arrived:

Picture marhas1
Preparing the hot air ballons

Thousands of hot air ballons, called "Khom Loy", were launched at the same time. You cannot imagine this moment of joy shared by thousends of people around you.

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Up they go - all together.

What followed, was not that joyful: Everybody tried to get home through a small street leading out of the temple kompound, for around one kilometer there was no more room between the bodies moving to the exit very slowly. And afterwards of course the streets back to Chiang Mai were full of traffic. One lesson learnt: You should not do this trip without a good guide, who is able to get contact with your driver and get you back to the car in all this traffic. And: We were grateful, that all people on the way out kept calm - it's hard to imagine, what could have happened, if some people would have got a panic attack.

See this video from 2009 by chipoisonphoto.

Loy Kratong in Mae Jo. Picture fredalix - อาลิกส์

Discover more:
Your Guide to Chiang Mai

Update for 2013:
In 2013 Yee Peng Festival at the Meditation Center in Mae Jo is schedulded for Saturday November 23, from 5 pm as you can read here. It is specially arranged for international visitors. In the ticket for 100 USD a shuttle bus and food is included. The full moon day - the offical Loy Kratong day - is on November 17. For some days around this day Chiang Mai will celebrate the Loy Kratong and Yee Peng Festival. And in Mae Jo a religious ceremony is held on Saturday November 16. For more details read the following comments.

Update for 2014:
This year the full moon will be on November 6. The Yee Peng Mass Lantern Release with a religious ceremony at Mae Jo for locals is on October 25. The International event is on Nov 8.