Loy Krathong is a festival celebrated annually throughout Thailand in the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the Thai lunar calendar. It usually takes place in November in the western calendar. The word "Loy" means "to float" and "Krathong" refers to a lotus-shaped floating container, usually made of the trunk and the leaves of banana trees. A candle, 3 incenses and some flowers are inserted inside this container. They also produce krathong in styrofoam but people are invited to perfer the biodegradable ones. I'm thinking back in the old time when I and classmates created krathong in the class and we brought our krathong to float in a river with family in the evening. The atmosphere was always beautiful and enjoyable. Many locations or villages give out prizes for the most beautiful Kragthong and/or organise Beauty Contests too.
Why we float the krathong? It has been told to be an ancient ritual to pay respect to the river spirits and to thank the Goddess of water (as water is essential to our life). People also claimed that floating the krathong symbolizes letting go of all one's hatred and anger. Some of them cut the fingernails or hair and place the clippings on the krathong as a symbol of letting go of negative thoughts.
Thai ladies in traditional costumes are floating their krathong in a canal. Fireworks are used in many cities to make a spectacular celebration too. Go visit Thailand in the month of November and you will be able to enjoy this experience ;)