Category Archives: lanterns

YI PENG LANTERN FESTIVAL

WHAT: YI PENG LANTERN FESTIVAL
WHY: LANTERN FESTIVAL
WHERE: CHAING MAI, THAILAND
WHEN: WEDNESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER 2019
COST: FREE

Loy Krathong is the second largest festival to be celebrated in Thailand and it is a festival where families and couples put on traditional dress and head on down to the river to release a Krathong or (floating baskets) onto the water. These are small containers made of banana leaves and trunk and highly decorated with flowers, incense, candles and flowers, they are to pay respects to the goddess of water and it is believed that all grudges and bad luck will be washed away before been released down the river.

Yee Peng or (Yi Peng) is another way of Loy Krathong, in Thai Yi (Yee) is two and Peng means full moon, this annual celebration occurs on the full moon night in the second month of the Thai lunar calendar, normally held in November but the days change slightly year on year.

Celebrated all around Thailand some of the bigger festivals are held in Sukhothai and Bangkok with the biggest of them held in Chaing Mai. To begin with, the festival was a very local affair with only locals taking part in the flower and lantern releases. As the event grew, a mass lantern releasing was introduced and after some visitors witnessed this, word quickly spread around. Now the event is bigger than ever and celebrated not only by the locals but visitors from all around the world. This is a sight to behold as hundreds and thousands of lanterns are released into the evening sky carrying the good luck wishes and prayers of whoever has released it.

There are plenty of places that you can witness and take part in the lantern releases for free but to get some of the best photo opportunities and memories to last a lifetime then you can purchase a ticket from these places:

Yee Peng Lanna Dhutanka behind Maejo university – this is the most popular place and where the photos and videos on the internet are from. It holds a maximum of 3000 people and the tickets can range from 200USD to 300USD (£163 to £244) for the seat and one lantern.

The second place is the cowboy Army Riding Club, this is a ceremony hosted by the local government and has 2 different dates and held 10km outside for downtown Chiang Mai. The capacity is 3500 to 4000 people and prices are from 90 USD to 120 USD (£74 to £98) a standard ticket includes 1 lantern where the VIP ticket includes 2 lanterns.

Other places are Yee Peng Doi Saket at the Doi Saket Hot springs this is more secluded as it is an out of city event where the lanterns are released into the surrounding countryside. The last place which holds two lantern releases on different days is the Northern Study Centre in the Maerim district.

Wherever you decide to visit for the festival of lights please note that there are rules attached if you do want to take part these are as follows:

  • You must buy a ticket
  • Attendees must wear acceptable clothing (long pants, no bare shoulders, white shirts are preferred)
  • No alcohol is allowed
  • Lanterns must be bought on-site (you cannot take your own with you)

As well as the festival of lights there is also numerous other things that happen all over Chaing Mai such live music, handicraft sessions and the official “Yi Peng Parade around the old city gate and down the Tha Pahe Gate road. You will also be able to sample some of the local delicacies as hordes of food vendors set up to feed the hundreds of tourists around. Firecrackers and fireworks are also popular to buy and set off during this celebration.

Plenty of companies offer packages to visit but if you want to sit back relax and put your feet up there are plenty of rooftop terraces to choose from.

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ULVERSTON LANTERN FESTIVAL 2019

WHAT: ULVERSTON LANTERN FESTIVAL 2019
WHY: LANTERN FESTIVAL PARADE INCLUDING FIREWORK FINALE
WHEN: SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2019
WHERE: ULVERSTON TOWN CENTRE AND THEN ONTO FORD PARK
COST: FREE ANNUAL COMMUNITY EVENT

This year’s Ulverston Lantern Festival is being held on 14th September 2018 with the theme ‘Fantastical Beasts.

Lantern festivals have been taking place over in China for over two thousand years and the practice is thought to have been started by Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty.

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Today’s Chinese Lantern Festivals are celebrated across China and Asia on the 15th day of the new Chinese Calendar.

The Ulverston Lantern Festival back in blighty has been running since 1983 and goes from strength to strength. If you want to create your own lantern, there are workshops around the area which will show you how to do this. You can collect lantern kits from a number of shops/offices and businesses around the area – just pop along to the town and the folk there are very friendly and will be able to direct you to the nearest stockist. Furthermore, they need volunteers to help in the running of the event so if you can offer your assistance, call them on 07761 930627.

The weather forecast is very good with only a small likelihood of rain so get along and show your support and dig deep for the charities collecting on the day.

They are expecting 5000 visitors to witness the parade of over 600 of these beautiful lit lanterns, which will wend its way from the four corners of the town, converging on the main square, creating a four-way river of light which makes for quite the spectacle.

If you are up in the Lakes and are looking for something to do with your family which is gentle and very hands-on, put the event in your diary.

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NAGASAKI LANTERN FESTIVAL 2019

WHAT: NAGASAKI LANTERN FESTIVAL
WHEN: 5TH TO 19TH FEBRUARY 2019
WHERE: ALL AROUND NAGASAKI WITH MAIN EVENTS AT MINATO & CHUO PARK
COST: FREE

Be mesmerised and enchanted by the brightly coloured, exotic dreamworld this winter, by visiting the spectacular lantern festival in Nagasaki.

The original celebration took place alongside Chinese New Year celebrations in Nagasaki’s Chinatown, in 1994 it expanded from the Chinatown to all over Nagasaki and was officially named the Nagasaki lantern festival.

The festival lasts throughout the 15 days of the Chinese lunar new year celebrations and has now become so incredibly popular that over 1 million locals and visitors come along to see the lanterns and all the beauty that Nagasaki has to offer.

Known for one of the biggest Chinatowns in Japan alongside Yokohama and Kobe, you can tell that the city had a strong influence from China with their trading history and the celebrations that are involved on these days.

Along with the lanterns are acrobatics shows, lion and dragon dances, theatre performances, emperors’ parade, and of course fireworks. If you fancy trying the local cuisine there are plenty of food stalls to choose from and souvenir shops to take a little memento home with you.

With plenty to see and do all over Nagasaki during the celebrations, you can cram plenty into your days. If you are short on time however, the two main places to where all the action takes place are Minato Park and Chuo Park.

Schedule

  • 5th February – Opening Ceremony – 5:30pm to 6pm

The opening ceremony and lantern lighting for the 15 days begin at Chuo park there is just the lantern lighting whereas at Minato park you have the added extra of the fireworks.

  • 9th & 16th February – Emperors Parade – 2pm to 4:30pm

This is an enactment of how the emperor and empress celebrated the new year with his people during the Qing dynasty. Participants include slaves to carry them both on seats and over 150 flag bearers parading around in Chinese costumes.

  • 10th & 17th February – Maso Procession – 1pm to 4pm

This was originally carried out by the crews of the Chinese ships entering the port at Nagasaki during the Edo period.

Alongside the schedule here is another few pointers for you to have a look out for and make sure that you don’t miss out on:

Dragon Dance – This is thought to have originated from China, as a rainmaking ritual. Wearing traditional clothing the locals chant to the clouds attempting to make it rain, along with carrying a 20-foot dragon trying to attempt to swallow up the moon, the rain chant is done to ensure a good harvest.

Lion Dance – this is characterised by bright coloured costumes and Chinese percussion instruments, with both acrobatic and energy filled rhythms; this is a must see.

Erhu – these are local performances by the residents of Erhu and Kokyu, they include traditional Chinese instruments and is held at various venues around the city.

For the photographers out there to get perfect snapshots the best place to be is by the Megane Bridge, known as Japans oldest arch-shaped bridge, where you will see the only yellow coloured lanterns of the whole festival. Hanging above the water they give off a glowing reflection in the water below as though it is alight; a beautiful sight to see.

As well as the lanterns, there are paper ornaments of the Chinese Zodiac animals.  This year celebrates the Year of The Pig, so the main attraction will be centred around this. Also, there will be Chinese gods on display amongst other things that are known or supposed to bring good luck. These fantastic lantern masterpieces are often made by Chinese artisans or brought over from China each year specifically for this celebration.

Those born in the Year of the Pig are said to be artistic, refined and intuitive with good manners and a refined attitude. Whilst on the whole people born this year are caring and self-effacing, they can be stubborn and indecisive.

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