Afterwards, a lot of folks gathered in the field outside of the festning to launch paper lanterns into the sky in celebration of Loi Krathong and Yi Peng, two Thai Budhist festivals that are now celebrated together. The floating away of candles represents letting go of one's grudges, anger, and bad things about oneself and starting the new year fresh.
It was an awesome sight to see the crowd of people grouped around large glowing cylinders of paper, holding them steady against the slight wind as the yellow flame inside burned and heated the fragile pocket of air. After a minute or two, the lanterns would begin to lift, and hopeful families would skeptically release their grip, hoping the lantern would lift into the night sky. Sometimes, the lantern would not lift but slide through the air at head level, eliciting shouts of warning as the flaming airship passed through the crowd. Children would run beneath their lanterns, sometimes nudging them upwards. The lanterns would soon lift, quickly becoming mysterious points of light gliding away into the unknown. Cars along the road slowed or pulled over to see the spectacle of dozen of lanterns lifting into the darkness, like ufos.
It was a beautiful and awesome evening.