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BUN BANG FAI

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The most famous "BUN BANG FAI" (ประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ) or rocket festival is happening in Yasothon, located in Isan region - Northeast of Thailand.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
The highlight of the second day is the parade (ชมขบวนแห่บั้งไฟสวยงาม) happening on the Saturday.

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Performers start to wait at the starting point of the parade since 8 AM.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
The rocket festival ("BUN BANG FAI") is an event to workship deity Phaya Thaen (บูชาเทวดาพญาแถน). Rockets are sent in the sky in order to ask the deity to provide rain for the coming rice harvest.


Procession floats
Procession floats
Procession floats
Procession floats


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
The colorful Yasothon Rocket Parade starts from 9AM and lasts until 4PM. Those young people are holding traditional flags.

In the past, each village was celebrating his own rocket festival. Nowadays as the province government has decided to push the rocket festival as a highlight of the province, all villages gather in a sole festival.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Along the main street of the city, i.e. Chaeng Sanit Road, many stalls are selling local made small rockets.

The Rocket Festival in Yasothon is always happening on the second week of May. Always on Fri, Sat and Sun.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
A huge number of processions take part to the Yasothon Rocket Parade. In year 2015 there was 21 different processions.

A similar event is also taking place in Nongkhai and Kalasin.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some processions represent a district in Yasothon province. Some processions are linked to a local Buddhist temple.

People from the district or from the surrounding villages then provide help to ensure the procession is a success.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Each procession is made of a few sub groups. Various sub groups are the beautiful ladies carrying the temple / district name and banners, the dance parade team, musician team, local cheering followers, various vehicles including huge floats.


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Molam dancers
Molam dancers


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
As this festival is happening on the second week of May, the weather can be very hot! Many stalls are selling umbrellas for local people to protect themselves against the harsh sun.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Young lady part of the sub group carrying the banner displaying the district name or the Buddhist temple community name to which she belongs.

There is a huge crowd but spread around a few kilometers so it is still possible to take whatever pictures.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
The young dancers are normally teens going to college or old ladies. They get paid for their participation.

Yasothon festival is famous for being having a safe parade as all groups belongs to local communities so it is mild competition and no fighting with strangers.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
This dancing procession is featuring a picture of the current King of Thailand.

Only a few policemen and military men could be seen as Yasothon Rocket Parade is safe.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade is a big fiesta, a big party with many people wearing funny clothes. It can remind of a carnival. Many lady boys are wearing extravagant clothes.


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
This teen with orange hair is part of the musician team of a local procession. Behind him, there is a trailer with huge loud speakers.

Foreigners are welcomed and drinks are often offered to them.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
There is a very hot weather so the beauty queens are protected with umbrellas.

Some soft drinks are offered as marketing gesture by some companies wishing to promote new products. Some iced water also offered in some areas.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Those performers use some instrumentation for "MOLAM" music, which includes the reed organ ("KAEN" - แคน), the guitar like "PHIN" (พิณ).

Yasothon is a good place to eat genuine Isan food such as "LAP MOO" (ลาบหมู), "NEU NAM TOK" (เนื้อน้ำตก)...

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some men have painted themselves with dark paint.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some processions feature some floats linked to agricultural symbols. Rice cultivation is a key event.


Fertility symbols
Fertility symbols
Fertility symbols
Fertility symbols


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
There are a few objects symbolising the fertility such as phallic symbol. Sending rockets in the sky to get water is also an act of fertility towards the soil.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some processions are dancing while using objects linked to their community specialities such as triangular cushions, traditional clothes or agricultural tools.

Many mobile stalls are selling drinks and food.

Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some processions are dancing while using objects linked to their community specialities such as triangular cushions, traditional clothes or agricultural tools.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Great performances by the dancers as it is over 40 degrees. They keep smiling.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Each procession dancing troupe has a different style including modern and traditional folk ways.


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
This young lady is holding a portrait of the current Queen of Thailand. Portraits of Thai King and Thai Queen are often hold by performers leading the processions.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon dance parades (ขบวนรำเซิ้ง) are very famous for their skilled performers.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
This man is using a big pole to push ahead the electrical wires in order to ensure the procession float can advance safely.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
There are many boys and lady boys enjoying to dance in each dancing team.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Molam music concerts are also happening along the main street of Yasothon.


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade


Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
The concert stages are dismanted during the evening but some people continue partying until the last minute.
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Party is ongoing the whole day involving young and older people!
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Yasothon Rocket Parade
Some cornacs bring their elephants during the Yasothon Rocket Parade hoping to get some money due to the big influx of tourists.
Ferris Wheel
Ferris Wheel
During Yasothon Rocket festival, there is an outdoor market with stalls, restaurants and games for youngsters. There is even a small Ferris Wheel.
Games stalls
Games stalls
Some various Games stalls are available for the whole family to play.
Concert stages dismanted
Concert stages dismanted
It is dark already. Concert stages start to be dismanted. The second day of Yasothon Rocket festival is over.






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