The festivals in Thailand never cease to amaze the countless tourists who flock here from all over the world. These colorful festivals showcase the country’s rich culture and heritage. It is undoubtedly a pleasure to be part of these events. The Rocket Festival in Thailand is one such festival.
When is the Rocket Festival Celebrated?
The Rocket Festival usually takes place on the weekends in mid-May, just before the start of the planting season (the rainy season).
What is the Bun Bang Fai Festival?
This ancient festival, known locally as the Bun Bang Fai festival, is a ceremony of launching homemade rockets into the sky to captivate the rain gods and hope for a good monsoon season before they begin. Celebrated in the northeastern region of Thailand, with its most significant commemorations in Yasothon, the festival is a feast for the eyes. The first celebration of this festival dates back centuries and is still widely celebrated, which is enough proof of how Thai people treat their culture with the utmost respect.
History of Rocket Festival in Thailand
The festival is said to have evolved from Buddhist fertility rituals to celebrate the arrival of the monsoon season. The festival also reflects elements of Lao folk culture. The festival is observed just before planting season begins and signifies joy before the hard work begins. Even today, the tradition of the ancient rocket festival is studied by scholars, as it may play an essential role in the history of rocket festivals in the East and could also be necessary for socio-economic development. From Southeast Asia. The final day begins with the usual performances and dance shows, but the most critical event is the rockets launch.
In this event, the villagers ignite their homemade bamboo rockets, which roar into the sky. Then the locals pray for plenty of rain. The rocket launch competition also begins on the last day, with a jury evaluating the beauty of the rockets. And how far in the sky it travels. Missing missiles are disqualified, and their owner is either thrown into a mud puddle or covered in it. Not only is it a tasteful punishment, but it also serves as security. Its function as mud is said to reduce the severity of burns that misfires may have caused.
This reminds participants and spectators that the festival is not about fun and games. It can also be dangerous at times. Appropriate precautions must therefore be taken before entering competitions.
How is the Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival Celebrated?
On the first day of Thailand’s Rocket Festival, villagers pay homage to the city’s pillared shrine by bringing their local bamboo rockets. This is followed by dancing and performances that continue until the end of the festival in two days. This is great fun for the locals but may not arouse the interest of outsiders. But ask questions and join in to soak up all the culture and make the most of your time at this 3-day festival. Street parades and traditional dances to live music open the second day of the festival with a bang.
It’s fun and fascinating to see the musicians in a car with electric guitars plugged into car batteries, ready to play music at total volume for visitors! The performances are followed by a Buddhist merit ceremony, after which the locals bring brightly and vividly decorated rockets mounted on equally beautiful and traditional ox-carts. Most missiles are for display, not flight. People compete in groups, and the winners take home prizes according to the categories. Masks equipped with water
Turn around as you may be splashed with water. Don’t worry; it’s all part of the celebration.