Rocket Festival In Thailand

  • UPDATED Sep 21, 2018

The Rocket Festival in Thailand is essentially a rural festival celebrated by the tribes of Thailand to pray for the arrival of rain and also as a mark of prestige to their village. It is traditionally celebrated by the Lao people in various villages of Thailand. This festival is known as Bun Bang Fai in colloquial language. The Bun Bang Fai is typically a festival of dancing, music and general merry-making with the cherry on top being the launching of a great rocket in all the villages. Competition is often held in these villages to see whose rocket goes the farthest. Winning in this contest is also construed as a mark of respect amongst the villages.

Image Source: wikimedia.commons

Age Old Tradition

This festival is an age-old tradition stemming from Lao Folklores. It originated in the 9th century when the people of the Lao tribe celebrated this day to encourage the coming of the rain. It was also the last day of celebration before the season of hard toil. This festival was also a mark of prestige and general merriment amongst the villages.

The rockets that are launched during this period are colloquially known as Bang Fai. They are large bottle rockets fired with black-powder. Some rockets also a bamboo culm in place of the bottle. The people spend the whole dancing and singing traditional tunes. At night, the actual rocket launching festival starts. The rockets come in different shapes and sizes. Originally they were made up of bamboo. But in modern times PVC pipes are used to make this rockets less harmful to the environment and more effective. These rockets are crafted in various ways to facilitate their flying. Competitions are held to judge whose rocket goes the highest. The winner claims a prestigious name amongst all the other competitors.

Real Meaning of the festival

The rocket festival is not only a competition but also an age-old tradition that is slowly getting lost in the jungle of technology and modernization. This festival has economic as well as social implications in Thailand. In addition to that, this festival is simply beautiful. Imagine enjoying a day of dancing and singing amidst the serene Thai villages with the traditional cuisine to feast on. At night, however, you will get to witness the dark sky lit with the fiery showers of great rockets swooshing their way up as if to heaven.

If you want to experience a more urban side of the Rocket festival, then you can head to Yasothan. Here, the rocket festival is celebrated with great pomp and show which includes jumping into a muddy pool and the rocket launching ceremony in the evening. The prayers for a fertile field is construed as a sexual innuendo in Yasothan. Therefore, you might witness a strong theme of sex in the air of Yasothan during this festival. You can also enjoy the street food here that consists of traditional Thai food at low prices.

In 2018, the festival will begin on 4th May and end on 8th May. Book your tickets now if you want to witness this spectacular event of Traditional Thailand.