Last October 30, I celebrated the Yi Peng Festival through one of my Escape to Thailand series of online cooking experiences. As I’ve mentioned in a previous episode of my Nikky Feeding Souls YouTube show, Yi Peng is a Thai lunar festival mainly observed in Northern Thailand. Chiang Mai, the biggest city in that region, holds the biggest and most colorful version of this festival.
As part of the online cooking experience I hosted, I showed my virtual guests how to make nam prik ong and pad kee mow. These are two of the most iconic dishes in Lanna or Northern Thai cuisine. I also brought in my friend and moon astrology expert Britten LaRue to give us her insights on moon astrology. Most importantly, I let my Soul Foodies experience a popular highlight of the Yi Peng Festival: none other than floating lanterns. It was magical.
A bonding opportunity
This class was so soul-feeding for me. I got to share a virtual experience of the Yi Peng Festival, which I attended in 2019. Many of the class didn’t know that the floating lantern scene, so iconic of Thailand, came from this particular festival.
The Soul Foodies celebrating Yi Peng with me also shared their reasons for attending this event with me. I found their reasons fascinating and more food for my soul. Many of my guests are families who signed up so they could do something as a family. For them, my Escape to Thailand event was a family-bonding activity.
There were also friends among my guests who wanted to do something fun together. So the virtual Yi Peng Festival became an opportunity for them to have dinner together and enjoy something they cooked as a group.
All of them took the time to share pictures of the food they cooked online. They found the colors and the flavors of nam prik ong and pad kee mow amazing. Moreover, they found it marvelous that these dishes were so easy to prepare with the tools they have in their own kitchen.
Moon cycle insights
As a highlight for the evening, I invited my friend Britten LaRue to make a special appearance at my event. Britten is an art historian and an expert in moon astrology. We talked about the significance of this particular full moon and the similarities of its meanings in western and eastern traditions.
Britten shared truly amazing and inspiring insights on this full moon. As it happens, the full moon this October coincided with the eve of Halloween. Thus, it carried associations with the end of a cycle. It was, therefore, a time for letting go of what was, for giving thanks for the lessons we learned during the cycle, and for setting our intentions for the future.
The people of Thailand have similar beliefs. In Thailand, the Yi Peng Festival marks the end of the season. It’s a time for thanksgiving—to the gods and goddesses for their blessings, and to the water for the harvest. Additionally, it’s a time for asking forgiveness for any harm we did to the water and to Mother Earth.
We ended the night with me sharing the gifts I sent them—specially-crafted floating lanterns. This gift is meant to give them the at-home experience of lighting these lanterns with their wishes and intentions and letting them float.
Many of the Soul Foodies celebrating the Yi Peng Festival with me immediately signed up for the last stop of the Escape to Thailand online cooking experiences for this year. This last stop will be in December; we’ll explore then the traditions that the people of Bangkok observe during the holidays and New Year.
You’re welcome to join this December experience. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/30o9lHT.