Buffalo Racing Festival in Thailand
- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED May 18, 2018
- 26 Views
Thailand has always been one of the greatest travel destinations for tourists for a long time. The best time to visit the place is completely relative and depends on each traveler. But most tourists visit at the end of the Buddhist lent, which is the rain retreat period. There is so much excitement in the air at the end of the Buddhist lent, all thanks to the Buffalo Racing Festival.Each year this festival is held at Chonburi.
Chonburi is a beautiful city and has been organizing this festival for the last hundred and forty-six years! This year, it is scheduled on 23rd of October, 2018. Here is your guide to the Buffalo Racing Festival:
How it is done
Each year the city of Chonburi holds organized buffalo races in front of the city hall. Even though the formal races date back to over a hundred years, the informal races started taking place even before that. The participants take this race very seriously. The buffalos go through a proper training regime at least three months in advance to ensure that they perform well in the race. They are also put on special diets so that their stamina is on the rise while the race is on. The raceis conducted at the length of one hundred meters. There are several races held with different categories. The masters have to ride their buffalo through the hundred meters ensuring that the balance is maintained because the race tests the balance and agility of the buffalos as well as the riders.
Not only are the races exciting for the riders, but they also have a chance of winning prizes at the race. This way, the locals are encouraged to participate in the Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival each year. The event was started as a way of appreciating and applauding the buffalos for the hard work they are made to do for their masters. The prizes are distributed according to the category of which the winner is a part. The races are done in three categories based on the sizes, the placement of the steeds by the owners and diet regimes. The buffalos are made to run on a muddy track of hundred metres and the winners are rewarded very well.
The festival is not a one day thing only. It lasts for about a week giving you a chance to splurge in the beauty of Chonburi. The food stalls are put up along with a great source of entertainment resulting in the race becoming a complete package of fun, enthral and thrill. Concerts take place during the festival and are almost always completely sold out. There are amusement park equipments and fairs for kids as well as the adults to have fun at. This way, the kids keep busy while the adults get a chance to shop a little and get the most traditional things for themselves and their friends and relatives. This also facilitates the participants to relax before the big day. The atmosphere of the festival is no less than that of a music festival. People are happy, they sing and they dance.
Yes! There are a lot of beauty pageants held for the local women as well as the buffalos! There are times when some of the buffalos are not trained enough or lack the ability to run in such races. This is why the beauty pageant was started so that the buffalos that are not nimble enough to participate in the race can still win prizes for their owners by the way of a beauty pageant. The buffalos are dolled up with the most colourful accessories and are made to participate. The beauty pageant held for the local women is called ‘Ms. Buffalo’. Even if the name puts you off, the pageant happens to be ten times more glamorous and fancy than the name itself. Local women participate in large numbers to win exciting prizes and ensuring that they do not lose
Schedule for the main race day
The main race is conducted on a day that remarks the end of the Buddhist Lent. This year, the main race will be held on 23rd of October which is a Tuesday. The day starts with a beautiful representation of how the day will go by. There are people everywhere. This day especially attracts tourists from all of Thailand to watch the glorious race of the buffalos. A lot of people consider the buffalos of Thailand slow and this race just opens their minds to the fact that the Thai buffalos are indeed the fast and beast like when it comes to racing. The day starts with a parade of thirteen buffalos through the town of Chonburi along with their masters. This is done to invite people to the race by saying that the race will begin soon. Then comes the opening ceremony of the main race day. This opening ceremony is held at the race track near the Chonburi City Hall. As soon as the opening ceremony is done, the races of different categories begin. The whole day goes by in these races that are nothing short of excitement and thrill. A lot of locals participate in the race and have not let the spirit of the race down. At the end of the day, a prize distribution ceremony is held where the winners are applauded and rewarded.
With the perfect mixture of food, good music, beauty pageants and the thrill of the races, who would not want to attend the Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival? This is the perfect place to get the kick of excitement that we usually miss out on because of our busy lives. But now that you have an option, why not explore it?