Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival 2011

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival

The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival will be taking place this year from May 11th to May 15th in the Yasothon Province.

The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival was born of traditional beliefs of the Issan people and it has become one of the most celebrated of merit making ceremonies in Thailand. The annual  Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival has been going on for many generations in Issan and is one of the many merit making rituals to ensure that the seasonal rains fall at the appropriate time in the planting cycle. In this process, Buddhist merit-making traditions are also observed and reinforced.

The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival, which is held over a period of three days, strengthens community spirit. The first day of the Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival is known as “Wan Sook Dib” and features lively processions as rocket teams transport the rockets in a procession and perform a ritual to pay homage to Chao Pu, the spirit of the city pillar. Each is escorted by a colorful dance troupe.

The second day is the rocket procession day. Modern-day rockets are mounted on vehicles or traditional carts to be drawn in the parade. The “Bang Fai” rockets come in different sizes. For example, the Bang Fai Kilo is packed with one kilogram of nitrate, while the Bang Fai Meun – 12 kilograms, and the Bang Fai Saen – 120 kilograms of nitrate. The rocket-making technicians play a vital role in deciding the right amount of nitrate to be mixed with the charcoal. With the wrong formula, a rocket could blow up prematurely before it is launched high into the sky. The rocket cylinders are usually made from the bottom half of the bamboo.

It is also a day for the ordination of novices. Festive celebrations follow merit-making rituals. Dance, music, song and revelry are integral elements of the processions as the parade of beautifully decorated rockets wind their way through the village on their way to the temple offering an opportunity for the residents and visitors to admire the impressive works of art.

The rockets are finally launched on the third day in which various rocket contests are held. With the launch of the rockets, predictions are made with regard to the fortunes of the coming harvest. The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival in Yasothon Province is spectacular and provides a tremendous opportunity to experience Isan-style festive fun.

The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival stems from the belief that when this merit-making ceremony is held, gods and spirits will reciprocate with seasonal rain and a bountiful harvest.

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival Highlights

  • Bun Bang Fai rocket contests
  • Processions and parades
  • Cheerleading contests
  • Miss Bun Bang Fai beauty contest
  • Fun fair
  • Stage drama
  • Open-air theatre
  • Folk music
  • Mor Lam folk performance
  • And other folk entertainment

 

For more information on the Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival you can contact the local Tourism Authority of Thailand office listed below.

Contact information:

Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ubon Ratchathani Office

Areas of Responsibility: Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen, Yasothon

Tel: +66 (0) 4524 3770

Fax: +66 (0) 4524 3771

E-mail: tatubon@tat.or.th

If you are looking for more fun events such as the Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival or for more information on upcoming Festivals and Events in Thailand, please have a look at the Thailand Calender of Events.

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival 2010 Video



talensig

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5 Responses to Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival 2011
  1. Catherine
    April 12, 2011 | 1:23 pm

    Talen, it looks to be an interesting celebration.

    The video only showed one day (the actual rocket releasing) where it looks to me like a strictly guy thing.

    Get drunk, stagger around hugging your mates, all the while shooting off loud things. Yeah, it’s a guy thing :-)

    (and if you remind me in time, I’ll have a blast taking photos next year – because it looks like great fun!)
    Catherine recently posted..Thai News Site 2Bangkokcom Moves to WordPressMy Profile

  2. Talen
    April 12, 2011 | 2:30 pm

    Cat, there are parades and music and dancing as well…and who doesn’t like to light off rockets?

  3. Catherine
    April 12, 2011 | 3:11 pm

    Parades and dancing are ok, but rockets… did you hear that noise? Fantastic.
    Catherine recently posted..Thai News Site 2Bangkokcom Moves to WordPressMy Profile

  4. Martyn
    April 12, 2011 | 10:37 pm

    Talen, I’ve witnessed a couple of Bang Fai Rocket Festivals near to Wilai’s village and will see this year’s event next month. The competitions are taken very seriously and attract very big crowds. And boy do those big rockets go high. The power in them is really something else.

    Hopefully I’ll get a few decent photos this year because the camera I had last time didn’t have a very good zoom.
    Martyn recently posted..Thailand Blogs – March 2011 ReviewMy Profile

    • Talen
      April 13, 2011 | 9:39 am

      Martyn, I’m hoping to make to to one of the bang Fai festivals myself this year and hopefully get some good pics too.