Happy New Year!

By Alexis

Lanterns on New Year's Eve near Thaphae Gate, Chiang Mai, Thailand

On New Year’s Eve 2013, David and I moved to London, officially kicking off our expat adventures and ringing in 2014 with thousands of other people near Big Ben and the London Eye (check out a video of those festivities here).

This year, our 2015 new year celebration was on the complete opposite side of the world but still awesome in a totally different way…

New Year’s Eve in Thailand

This year, we celebrated in Chiang Mai, Thailand near Thaphae Gate, where there was just crazy, exciting chaos. Fireworks exploding at ground level, lanterns catching fire and sprinkling the crowd with sparks, motorcycles zipping by on the street — it was oh so Thai.

I mentioned to David how Thailand really has a “hands off” parenting style with its citizens. They’re like, “You can shoot off these projectile fireworks, but if you get hurt that’s on you!”  There’s nooo way some of this stuff would be legal in America, but eh, I guess that’s part of Thailand’s appeal.

At one point during the night, we nearly got taken out by one careless farang whose firework exploded on the ground just a few feet away. Thank goodness for my scaredy cat reflexes because as soon as I heard the guy yell “light that sucker up!”, I did a 180 and we high-tailed it out of there.

Around 11:45 PM, David and I lit our own lantern (with the help of a friendly police officer who offered us a lighter) and sent our new year’s wishes into the sky.

New Year's Eve 2014 1

When midnight rolled around, we were treated to hundreds of lanterns being released all around us, just like the Loy Krathong festival a couple months ago!

New Year's Eve 2014 3

A Japanese woman wears a kimono and lights a sky lantern during a New Year's Eve 2014 celebration in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lanterns on New Year's Eve near Thaphae Gate, Chiang Mai, Thailand

The walk home was probably my favorite part of the night because once all the lanterns were released, the sky was perfectly peppered with twinkling orange lights, giving us city dwellers a magical “starry” night.

Lanterns light up the night sky in Chiang Mai, Thailand on New Year's Eve 2014

 

P.S. For more information about sky lanterns in Thailand, check out my post “Insider Tips for Thailand’s Lantern Festival”

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