The Lantern Festival Night Parade is held on the second night of the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival. The majority of the parade is made up of walking groups that are representing organizations but there are also floats, figurines and banners that are manually carried by small groups of people.

The parade had periods where the flow came to a stop for long enough that some of the participants sat and rested. This was really not a problem because everyone seemed to be relaxed and it gave the crowd time to interact with the people in the parade and everyone seemed to enjoy having there photo taken.

Banners and Lantern

Most of the parade participants were dressed in colorful clothing and walking in groups. Each group was led by people carrying a banner that identified the group and the group was dressed similarly. In the spirit of the festival many people were carrying lanterns on a stick while others carried additional meaningful items.

It was enjoyable to see the different groups and each time a new group approached there was an anticipation to see how they would be dressed.

Manual Carried Figurines

Intermixed within the group, some groups had small to mid-sized figurines that were manually carried. Some were small enough that two people could carry them but others required a team of people with 20 or more people. Regardless of the size, all of them were carried using bamboo poles.

Floats

Of course, there were floats. I always enjoy watching the floats because they are the most elaborately decorated and are usually the highlight of the parade.

One of the things that has always amazed me about Thailand is that the temples are visually overwhelming. There is so much to see that it is impossible to see everything. The floats and some of the manually carried items in the parade were the same. They were filled with colorful decorations that it was hard to see everything.

Other Decorations

The predominant theme were the lanterns but there were many other items that were included in the parade. Some of them are shown in the photos below.

Street Atmosphere

The parade was very colorful with a lot of local charm but the buildings along the street added to the atmosphere of the parade as the parade route passed by colorfully lit temples and stores that were decorated with lanterns.

A couple of examples are in my final two photos.

The Dust on My Shoes

The lantern festival is packed with things to see starting with the opening ceremony and going well into the night with people casting off their krathongs into the river and launching lanterns into the air. Many of the activities are scattered around town and some are even outside of Chiang Mai making it difficult to see everything.

I though the night parade was one of the most enjoyable parts of the festival. I think this is the only night time parade that I have attended. All of the floats were colorfully decorated but the added effect of being lit at night made them even more colorful.

It was nice that it was at a time that the sun was not too hot and both side of the street were not affected by the direction of the sun. The night time atmosphere was really nice, maybe more parades should be at night!

I think the night parade is a must see activity when attending the Chiang Mai Lantern Festival.

Don’t miss out on experiencing the night parade!

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