Hot air ballooning popular in some locales that have a climate and topography suitable to such an absurd activity. To understand its appeal we need to examine the symbolism involved. First there's the basket that holds the passengers. This could mean they are all basket cases, or that they are going to hell in a handbasket, or both.
Then next is the balloon that carries the load upward to the passengers' delight, which symbolizes the joy of life lifting their spirits. And the final symbol is the hot air that fills the balloon and causes it to rise, which represents the overblown hype and deceptive advertising by the balloon company that promised a fun time, but will actually be funeral time when the balloon comes crashing down.