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CHIANG RAI – Authorities in Chiang Rai and Northern Thailand are calling on the general public to fly lanterns during Yipeng and Loy Krathong festivals only within specific periods of time to prevent possible accidents in aviation.
The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand’s Vice President on Provincial and Facilities Administration Chumnan Ruechai said the company is calling on the general public to adhere to safety measures when flying lit lanterns during Yipeng and Loy Krathong festivals.
Lit paper lanterns are usually released into the night sky in the northern region. Lanterns are afloat in the sky as hot air from the burning fuel-dipped paper roll inside.
Manufacturers of such lanterns have enabled them to fly higher and longer, causing potential risks to aviation and fires on the ground after they have fallen from the sky.
Chiang Mai province has recently announced a restriction on the release of lanterns on the night of 22 November 2018, and 23 November 2018, from 7.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. Smoke lanterns can be flown during 10.00 a.m. – 12.00 a.m. on 22 November 2018. The violation of such restriction may result in a maximum of three years in prison or a maximum of 60,000 baht in fine or both.
The Aeronautical Radio of Thailand has coordinated with the public and private sectors to strictly abide by the safety measures in favor of the aviation and airline passengers.
Loy Kratong in Chiang Rai has the added feature of a parallel festival called Yi Peng. Yi Peng is celebrated by launching hot air balloons made of rice paper into the night sky. The night sky is literally filled with thousands of these bright lights shining like a moving river of stars. It’s a truly magical sight that can’t really be captured in a picture.
Loy Kratong in Chiang Rai has become so popular that the hotels around the city are fully booked a month or more in advance. If you want to celebrate the festival in Chiang Mai, plan ahead and book your hotel well in advance. Note that Loy Kratong is celebrated on a full moon night, so the date will change from year to year.
By Tanakorn Sangiam