Wat Pan Tao Ceremony. The northern Thai city of Chiang Mai is the home of hundreds of Buddhist temples. Wat Pan Tao resides within the old city and date back to the 19th century. It is carved from teak wood and had been previously part of the royal palace. Wat Pan Tao is an attractive temple, yet you would not recall it to be a highlight from a trip to Thailand. Unless you were fortunate enough to visit the temple during the festival of Yi Peng and Loi Krathong.
Loi Krathong which translates to “float a basket” and takes place on the evening of the full moon of the Thai lunar calendar (typically November). On this evening, one launches the Krathong in a river or canal as one makes a wish. The Krathong floating away symbolizes the release of hated and anger. The Krathong contains both incense and a candle.
The Yi Peng the Lanna (northern Thai) festival coincides with Loi Krathong. YI Peng festival witnesses thousands of sky lanterns or floating lanterns climb into the moon lit sky. The lanterns are lit and heated by a candle. When one launches a sky lantern, one is making merit in the Buddhist religion.
Thousands of people descend on Chiang Mai to take part in this magnificent festival of light. I have been fortunate to attend this festival on two different occasions. It is a must-see event.
During the festival a truly magnificent ceremony takes place at Wat Pan Tao with a large group of young monks. The colors, the lights, the setting represent all that is fantastic of Thailand.
Please be aware that this is a truly popular event. I arrived at 5 pm, two hours before the start of the ceremony to ensure I was in the front row. It was truly worth it. Wat Pan Tao Ceremony.