British travellers are advised to pack a helmet for the literally explosive Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival.

Visitors catching flights to Thailand are encouraged not to miss next month’s Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival for an explosive insight into the local culture.

Villagers in Yasothon’s Phaya Thaen Park gather on May 11th to set off rockets in order to lure the rain god Vassakan into blessing them with wet weather.

The upcoming rice-planting season is crucial for many local farmers and it is believed that these rockets help to “stimulate” the rainclouds.

During recent years, the traditional festival has developed into something of a sporting competition, with some teams trying to send their rocket the highest into the sky, while others aim to produce the best flight/landing combination.

The explosives, which are made out of bamboo and gunpowder, may not pass muster with the average health and safety inspector, but the sound and spectacle created is truly memorable.

Other reasons to visit Yasothon during the four-day Bun Bang Fai Rocket Festival include beauty pageants and traditional Thai feasting.

Written by Alex Cochrane

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