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Naga Fireball Festival
One of the world's most awesome phenomena is this natural event which coincides with the end of the Buddhist Rains Retreat. Hundreds, often thousands of balls of fire rise out of the water to a few hundred metres before disappearing. It is not yet known how exactly this occurs and though scientists may dispute, the locals believe it is the work of Naga, a serpent living in the Mekong River. There is an annual festival to celebrate this intriguing phenomenon.
Yasothon Rocket Festival
The skies around the town of Yasothon light up on this night with fireworks and rockets, tempting the clouds to spill their precious rain over the rice fields. Originating in pre-Buddhist times, it is a fertility rite held to celebrate and to encourage the coming of the rainy season, and parade ornaments and floats often sport phallic symbols and imagery. Although the humble origins lie in superstition, the festival is today a competition to see who has the biggest rocket. For more information phone the Yasothon Municipality on (0)45 711 397 or the Thailand Tourist Office on (0)2 694 1222.
Similar to Valentines Day in the west, Loy Kratong is celebrated in Chiang Mai on the full moon night nearest November. Decorated banana leaf boats, beautifully lit with candles, float along the waterways. Hot air balloons made from colourful bags are also sent off into the night sky. Very romantic...
Bor Sang Umbrella Festival
Near Chiang Mai and often referred to as 'the Umbrella Village', Bor Sang hosts the annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival. This event celebrates the traditional crafts and skills of the local people with features such as exhibitions, a Miss Bor Sang pageant and stalls selling the hand-crafted umbrellas a must for all visitors to the area.