Thai lanterns, or Sky Lanterns are known in their country of origin as Khom loi, which means “floating lanterns”, symbolising problems and worries floating away.


Northern Thailand’s annual  “Yi Peng” is celebrated on a full moon of the second month of the Lanna calendar and is a time for tham bun, which means, “to make merit”. The most elaborate lantern displays can be seen in the ancient capital of the former Lanna kingdom known as Chiang Mai. During this time, a huge number Khom loi are released into the sky. Throngs of people gather to see the lanterns, which resembled giant fluorescent jellyfish. The Yi Peng festival coincides with one of Thailand’s most important national festivals, Loi Krathong, held on the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.


In recent years Khom loi lanterns have become so popular with the Thai people that they are uses in most festivals, in much the same way that the Chinese use lanterns. In addition, people will decorate their houses, gardens and temples with hanging lanterns called Khom fai, which are intricately shaped to provide a wide variety of colourful decorations.


In the Western world, Sky Lanterns are being used for special events and festivals, including birthday parties, weddings, product launches, and much more. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be used as well to mark the holidays we are most familiar with: Christmas, New Year, Easter, Hallowe’en and many more. Thai lanterns are certain to make any event or occasion both memorable and significant.


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