If you have never Been to Thailand during Loi Krathong you may want to check it out. On the western calendar it generally occurs in November. This is a Buddhist holiday that seems to be unique to Thailand.
It happens in the evening and you need to be someplace with water, in Bangkok you will see an untold number of little lights floating down the Chao Phraya River. Typically these small boats were made from banana leaves, now they are often made from Styrofoam and even bread. They will a candle and incense inside and you send it down the river after releasing into your little boat all of your bad feelings, your anger, you past failures and you begin the year as new. No more baggage to hold onto.
For 2012 the date of Loi Krathong is November 28.
I think that the coolest place to join in with the Loi Krathong party is in Chiang Mai. The canals that surround the city make a perfect place to float your Krathong and still be able to watch it for a while. Chiang Mai Also lights lanterns floating beneath what is essentially a hot air balloon made from a paper bag, just like you did as a kid. I loved that, made me feel little again. I can’t wait to take my kids next year. Plus just a great town and super friendly people!
If you get the chance check out the Loy Krathong festivals you your city at the local Thai Town or Thai Wat or for a real treat get to Thailand and watch it there. I can almost guarantee you will be glad you did!!