Why Such a Fascination for Sky Lanterns (Khom Loi)?

Thais releasing a Khom Loi

Thais releasing a Khom Loi (Joe Grez/Sesame)

Pai, Thailand – I have a dilemma. It has to do with the Chinese and Thai traditions of releasing hot air rice paper lanterns (Kongming [Chinese], Khom Loi [Thai]) into the night sky. Happens quite often in the north of the country now, with numerous lanterns coloring the black, faint white polka doted sky with moving golden orange pixels of various sizes. The first site of it is rather striking and as more people release lanterns into the sky, the night becomes that much more entrancing. So what’s my problem with this?

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