Photo source: staythailand.com
A pre-buddhist rain ceremony, this is one of the wildest kinds of festivals in the world. Taking place in Laos and some parts of Thailand, the Bun Bang Fai is a trademark for joy, proccessions , music, dance and folklore! This ancient festival has been carried out continously to this date and it’s generally associated with beliefs in supernatural powers that help the production of rice crops for the following planting season. The Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival is actually a sort of an offering for the rain gods, so they initiate the much needed rain season.
About Bun Bang Fai
Held around the full moon in May, the Bun Bang Fai is based on the idea that launching bamboo rockets towards the sky will start the rainy season so badly needed for the country’s rice crops. Popular mostly in the NorthEastern province of Isan in Thailand and around Laos’ capital Vientiane, the event holds a rich cultural significance, lasting three days.
The festival requires weeks of preparations, as bamboo rockets need construction. Children revel the Bun Bang Fai festival, as the lights, music rockets and parades enchant them. Besides it being a ritual for summoning rain, the locals also compete to become the Roger Ramjet. The rockets are launched on the third and last day of festival, and the team whose rocket goes highest is the winner, whilst the members of the teams whose rockets never leave the ground are thrown into mud.
The Bun Bang Festival is fascinating and full of ancient beliefs and rituals, however, it is also a safety hazard. The handmade rockets, made out of bamboo and black powder are unstable. In other parts of the world, this festival would be prohibited.
All in all, if you’re interested in witnessing a different kind of festival, travel to South-East Asia and take part in the Bun Bang Fai festival of rockets. The atmosphere is amazing, the location exotic and the tradition of this mystical ritual will remain in your mind and heart forever. Would you like to attend the Bun Bang Fai festival? Have you attended one?
References: gonomad.com, lonelyplanet.com
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