The Rocket Festival (Bung Bang Fai)
by kevin o'sheehan
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Bung bang Fai festivals occur all over the North-East of Thailand at the end of the dry season. They are fertility rites intended to call on the rains to come. Here, in Roi Et, each village competes to build and fire the best home made rocket. They were originally intended to awaken the dragon in the sky, to send the rain. They are accompanied by many strange customs, some of their meanings seem to be lost in the mist of time. Most of all they are fun. Isarn people love to have fun.