It was two years ago when I first heard of the Yee Peng festival in Chiang Mai. I read about it on another blog and I knew then that it was something our family needed to see. It is a buddhist festival where thousands of people participate by letting floating lanterns go into the sky.
We got to the event early and had to wait for hours before it began. Luckily we were in the back of the crowd and the children had the space to run around and play on the grass.
Monks began to chant. Have you ever heard monks chanting? Here is what it sounds like:
When the chanting was complete, fireworks signalled the lantern release. And up they went into the sky.
Our pictures do it no justice. Neither do my words.
10, 000 lanterns floating up into the air. Can you imagine?
It was breathtaking. Thousands of lanterns being released into the sky over about a twenty minute period.
What was really special about this celebration was that we were not passive bystanders. We actually got to participate and make a wish on our own floating lantern.
I had a moment during the festival where I was filled with happiness. You know those moments when you are not just happy but are radiating joy? That was me. It was a combination of feeling so incredibly lucky to witness and participate in this beautiful event and also of feeling a great sense of accomplishment and freedom. Two years ago I was dreaming of the day I would attend this festival and now there I was, with my family.