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Thursday, January 27, 2022

2022 Calendar Watch: Ring in the summer rains with a blast at this year’s Rocket Festival

If you’re craving a pyrotechnic spectacle to fill the gap between Chinese New Year and the Fourth of July, then head northeast to Isaan in mid-May for “Boon Bang Fai” — the annual Rocket Festival. Here you’ll watch teams of tipsy farmers guzzle bottles of local brew and rice wine as they climb rickety bamboo scaffolding with large projectiles slung across their backs, then fire them off above green fields into the clear blue yonder.

An annual Thaiger favorite, the Rocket Festival takes place every year in mid-May in farming villages across Northeastern Thailand and Laos. The Boon Bang Fai of Yasothorn Province is one of the largest and most well-known of its kind in Isaan. Armed with plenty of gunpowder, bamboo scaffolding and blue PVC pipe, ethnic Lao locals, many of them farmers, launch homemade rockets into the sky to mark the beginning of planting season and to hasten…

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