YeePeng festival, Thailand

This is a postcard from another pal of mine, coming from Thailand.

It is showing the Yee Peng Festival.

Dating back to ancient days, the decorative ceremony of lanterns was based on Brahmin beliefs or Brahminism. At this ceremony the people of long ago paid respect by worshipping three different gods. These gods were Pra I-Suan, Pra Narai, and Pra Prom. For this reverent ceremony, the candles used to light up the lantern were made from cow’s fat or wax that came from within the royal gates of the reigning monarch. Usually these candles were made by a Brahmin priest, and of course, the process of making the candles strictly followed the requirements of a Brahmin ceremony.

Formerly, lantern decorations were commonly seen hanging on all mansions in the grand palace. The great numbers and the beauty of the lanterns reflected the status of the royal family members. (Next to the king, the titles of royalty were “Jow Fah”, “Pra Ong Jow”, “Mom Jow”, “Mom Rajawong” and “Mom Luang”). There were also three classifications of lanterns, which were the Kome Chai, Kome Pra-Tiab, and Kome Boriwan.

Up until the present time, a tradition developed wherein people sacrifice their time to design and to assemble various kinds of strong, beautiful, and creative lanterns. The worshippers donated the lanterns to the temples asking their wishes to be fulfilled. Usually the person would say a prayer, requesting his desire to be a sharp, brighter, and a more clever person in the future. This belief is based on the comparison that a bright light would lead a person out of his present darkness into a lustrous future.


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