Thailand: Yasothon Bun Bangfai/Rocket Festival -- May 2010

by Backpacking Tips Asia
(Oslo, Norway)

Rocket Festival from May 5-9, 2010 in Phaya Thaen Park, Mueang District, Yasothon. At the start of the rice planting season and according to northeastern folklore the first raindrops fall only when the gods are in the mood for love.

The gods need encouragement hence the importance of the Bun Bang Fai, or rocket festival, to stir the mythical community, resident in the heavens, to bless earth with fertility and rain.

One mother of all rockets shoots high into the sky possibly for a kilometer or more stimulating the gods to action. The higher it goes, the more rain will fall on the northeast plateau bringing good fortune and a bumper rice harvest.

All sizes and shapes are built around a simple plastic or bamboo pipe packed solid with black powder and fuses. They can be up to 10 meters, or more, in length, as long as they are capable of powering into the skies at blast off.

While the rockets compete, the crowd is entertained with comedy, often bawdy with a smattering of dirty jokes and raucous country music. Itís a genuine farming community excuse to have fun and get the planting season off to a good start.

Accidents are few and far between, but as the beer and rice whiskey flows, missiles may stutter, wobble or even do some low flying antics over the tents and entertainment stages.

Rocket festivals are held throughout the region and in neighboring Laos.

Contact:
TAT Ubon Ratchathani Office
Tel: 66 (0) 4524 3770-1, 66 (0) 4525 0714
Yasothon Municipality Office
Tel: 66 (0) 4571 1397 Ext.: 112

(info attribute of tourismthailand.org)

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