Yasathon Rocket Festival
- Rocket Festival in Yasathon is 9-11 May, 2014
- Not set yet for 2015
Northeastern Thailand Festival Calendar
Rocket festivals have been a part of the Northeastern Thailand festival calendar for several decades. The most prominent of these takes place in Yasathon, where it has been observed since 1972. It draws on the ancient rain festivals, which have been held in Isaan for centuries.
Rain-making through Merit-Making
Isaan is a dry place, and local farmers believe they can increase the chances of rain by making merit. The festival in Yasathon is a massive merit-making event. The celebration begins on Friday with street performances and parades.
Main Processional for Rocket Festival
The main processional is saved for Saturday. Teams from around the province make their own rockets and carry them down the street. Traditional Thai dancers accompany the processional, which is believed to make Yasathon's ancestral spirits happy. In the afternoon, everyone heads to the temples to make merit. The launches take place on Sunday. If a particular team’s rocket does not leave the launch pad, the team members are thrown into a mud slick.
Modern rockets have been brought into this ancient rain festival because cloud seeding has become common in Isaan. Between the merit made in local temples and the silver iodide pumped into the clouds, Isaan usually gets some rain in the process.