New Years Chiang Mai

After Traveling the world and having celebrated New Years in several locations, I would have to say that my favorite place to spend this time of year is in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Energy and happiness filling the air , the people , the food, the weather, it is hard to beat. An integral Part of the Thai New Year is the rice paper lantern. the lanterns come in various sizes from around 40cm to 80cm in diameter and tend to be around a meter high.  They have a small ring at the base which appears to be made of a sliced up roll of toilet paper that has been soaked in paraffin.

The Paraffin soaked toilet paper ring is ignited and the lighter gas from the heat displaces the colder external gas . and carries your lantern along with all of your new years wishes up into the heavens. The site is absolutely breathtaking and lasts for hours, only to be topped off by fireworks and a breathtaking release at the stroke of midnight.

This year I met up at 9:00 pm with about 40 couch-surfers at the town-square, wheChiang Mai New Yearre we departed on a trek through the festive market loaded with food, worthless nicknacks, and of course rice paper lanterns. Purchased a 10pack of rice paper lanterns for 170 baht ($5.23) , and continued on to the Norowat bridge. For those who did not get lost in the crowd ( about half) we all wrote our wishes in our own respective languages on a lantern and sent it up into the heavens.. and it was a successful launch. ( sometimes the lantern goes up and immediately comes crashing back down, or gets caught in a tree, or power-line, etc… etc.. ( which is considered serious bad luck) . Anyway so after the successful launch, I gathered everyone up and we made our way back to towns square, this time avoiding the market via the backstreets of chiang chiang mai New Years 2014mai with the help of my smartphone map. Had a proper New Years send off with the sky full of Lanterns and well wishes. After which we all took of on a hike to Zoeyes (the main foreigner hang out in town), then danced until the wee hours of the morning with all of my new found friends.

OK.. so here is the goal for New Years 2014/2015 , instead of sitting around the house and watching all the festivities on the TV , how about catching a flight to the Land Of Smiles and send off the New Year in a proper fashion.

Just an interesting Snippet of information, in 1941 Thailand 2014 Chiang Mai New YearBecame  the most recent country to adapt January 1st. as their New Year. Up until 1888, The traditional Thai New Year was set by astrological calculation, ranging between April 13th to the 15th, after 1888, the date was switched to April 1st. until 1940, at which time it was switched to January 1st. of the Gregorian Calender . which is now in use by most countries throughout the world.

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