Koh Samui’s Rocket Festival

An annual ritual to ensure the seasonal rain fall at the appropriate time“It is often best to know the forecast, before praying for rain”
Mark Twain

There is a ritual that is quite obviously borne of a simpler time, before irrigation and television, when people instinctively understood their symbiotic relationship with nature. In the northeast of Thailand, rainfall is often late, sporadic, and of insufficient quantity. In a country where agriculture and farming sustains the livelihood of more than 70% of the population, and the May skies fail to darken with clouds, farmers begin to seek divine intervention to ensure a plentiful and bountiful harvest. During the second week of May, the North-eastern Thai people celebrate the Bun Bang Fai Festival, otherwise known as the Rocket Festival, popularly observed in the province of Yasothon by the Isan people. Launch preparations for home made fireworksThe immigrated Isan people of Koh Samui celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm in support of their northern families. Born from the traditional beliefs of the Isan people, the sprightly Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival, the most celebrated of Isan’s merit-making rituals, has been strictly observed by the Isan people for generations, and is essentially an annual ritual to ensure that the seasonal rains fall at the appropriate time during the planting cycle. From your paradise holiday villa you will without doubt see the Samui skies lit with festive colours from the rockets intended for the gods. Join in the fun and wake the sleeping deities with a few fireworks of your own!

This entry was posted in Highlights. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Koh Samui’s Rocket Festival

  1. Where can you buy fireworks on Koh Samui? Is it legal to set off fireworks from the beach?

    • There are fireworks available everywhere on Koh Samui with the exception of 7-11. Market’s and many Chinese shops sell fireworks, particularly during the festive holidays. From the beaches of Chaweng through to Lamai, Bang Rak and Bophut you will see Thai people and the many supporting countries of the world lighting fireworks into the Samui night. Fireworks are not banned or illegal on Koh Samui, but be careful which way they’re pointing. A burning hut is not a good way to wake the sleeping rain gods, but it is a sure way to wake the sleeping neighbours.

Leave a Reply