Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rocket Festival, Bun Bang Fai - Thailand

Rocket Festival Parade Thailand Traditionally, the rocket festival is the sixth Lunar month ceremony that Lao people have conducted for many generation(s). It is a very important event that we could not abandon since the early period of time. It is also the important symbol of unity and friendship used to fight against dry weather and to request rain. Eventhough, belief in the rain god is less now than in former times, the Lao still respect this tradition and continue to prepare the rocket festival as one of the most significant activities that takes place before of the season of rice cultivation. In addition to the preparation of rockets, there are some Buddhist ceremonies such as waterblessing rituals that the senior monks perform at the same event. The Rocket festival is the only annual chance the farmers have to request rain from the god called Phaya Thaen. Because of the strong belief held since ancient times, when the land was dry and farmers did not have enough water for rice production. So the rocket festival were instituted. It is the one means for human beings to communicate symbolically with the god to request rain. The rocket launching itself is competitive, with prizes for the best explosion, greatest distance, etc. The secrets of rocket making have been passed down over the generations and refined into sophisticated, multi-chambered wonders of pre-scientific technology. Some of these things are four or five meters long, and fly a kilometer or more, or explode at their apogee into a spectacular and colorful fireball. As if this wasn’t enough, there are countless other activities (as with any country fair) including live music, dancing and other contests. Though countless villages observe the celebration, on various dates and the best organized is held in Yasothorn Province. This year the three-day blowout runs from May 10-12. Rocket Festival At Night Thailand

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