Bang Fai festival

At the beginning of each wet season, people from the Isan province celebrate Prapheni Bun Bang Fai, a centuries old festival to celebrate and encourage the coming of the rains. These days it comprises elaborate floats, dancing, music, costume and lots of fun, before the hard labour of rice planting begins. Rockets are sometimes fired into the sky to encourage the rains to come and the whole festival is a great community event. Each village is very proud of and competitive regarding their parade and a lot of prestige is associated with the success of a good Bang Fai festival. Isan people are a superstitious lot and it is felt by many that a decent rice harvest can’t happen without a successful festival.

This year, five of our teenagers were involved in the procession through a nearby village. The girls were up at 4 am to have their hair and make up done and looked beautiful in their traditional costume. They walked proudly, holding flowers or a village emblem or standard. The two boys were a little more bashful with their flags but were just as proud to have been chosen. Ironically, the rain threatened to spoil the day but the skies cleared just in time for the main parade.

Thanks to Angelique and Noon for the photos.

Go Back