In Chiang Mai, and other parts of Northern Thailand, the launching of thousands of paper lanterns is a custom for good luck on the day of the Festival of Light, known as the Yi Pen Festival. Here are some very striking photos from the recent celebration on November 16.

During the Festival of Light, the lanterns, known as Khom Loi or sky lanterns, made of rice paper and heated by a fuel disk, are launched by thousands of people at the same time. Many tourists come to Chiang Mai to experience the launching of the sky lanterns.

People write prayers, messages, and good-luck wishes on the lanterns before the launch. Buoyed by the heated air, these lanterns can fly to a surprising altitude and look like stars in the dark night. It's simply mesmerizing to watch such a dramatic panorama in the night sky. About 10,000 lanterns were launched.

Isn't this an amazing sight?