After local tourism authorities get their hands on them, Asian festivals can quickly veer into twee territory. But Loy Krathong, the full-moon festival in the 12th month of the Thai calendar, remains magical. After nightfall, locals send candlelit and flower-strewn floats made of banana leaves down rivers to represent relinquishing one's negative emotions for the upcoming year. Otherworldly schools of lantern balloons are also dispatched into the sky. In big cities, firework displays complete the show. Next Loy Krathong: November 2010.
By Hannah Beech