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I keep intending to write about all the books I’m reading and the things I’m thinking.  Because I’ve been reading a ton of really good books lately, which has prompted a lot of interesting thoughts. But Justin came back to Chiang Mai with me after our trip to Bali . . . so now I’m doing a lot more adventuring and a lot less blogging.

This weekend is Loi Krathong & Yi Peng, two festivals that are celebrated together and are the most amazing religious and cultural festivals I’ve ever attended. In the religious aspect, if I understand it somewhat correctly, it is a time to let go of our anger, the mistakes we’ve made, and all that we have left undone.

I am sure there is a lot more to it than that and I didn’t understand all the prayers and chanting last night because it was all in Thai. But the ethos of the first five hours of the day was one of contemplation, serenity, and magnanimity. And then in a matter of seconds, the crowd broke out into mass celebration and excitement as everyone began lighting their lanterns and sending them off into the night sky.

Even though I only attended one hour of the religious ceremony, I had one of those moments when you realize that it’s all the hard work you’ve just pushed through (I think praying and paying attention and being present are really hard things to do) that makes the joy all the more palpable. The thousands of excited people and glowing lanterns  were stunning representations of that type of joy. I’m sure I’m putting my own personal spin on the evening. So I suppose I did end up talking about a few things I’ve been thinking about lately . . . 🙂

So here are some photos from the evening! Starting with the crazy traffic and rows of street vendors to the mass release of lanterns into the sky. !!

Chiang Mai

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Thailand

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festivals in chiang mai

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Camille Stallings