28 June 2011
Each June the local village community of Mae on hosts a Bang Fai (Rocket Festival). Large rockets are constructed out of full lengths of bamboo and black powder. A team can consist of anybody from a single individual to family, business or group. Once formed a team needs to build their own rocket or consult a Rocket-Man (Oh no no no I’m a rocket man…). Once fully armed they are ready to compete!
Held every year at the beginning of the rice-planting season the roots of the festival are found in trying to appease the rain spirits in the hope of an abundant harvest. Though mortal prizes are also offered by the village leaders for an impressive rocket flight with judges taking into consideration duration, stability etc. The CMRCA community headed out to fire our own rocket and enjoy the day’s festivities. Usually heavy rain showers can put a dampener on a festival, not so for Bang Fai as this could well be seen as a sign of a job well done.