Rocket festival gives locals a blast

Rocket festival gives locals a blast

Participants carrying rockets prepare to join traditional firing competition in Pathum Thani’s Muang district. (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)

The Pathum Thani Provincial Administration Organisation (PAO) on Sunday organised a traditional rocket firing competition at a field in Muang district. More than 30 teams took part in the rocket, or luk nu, ceremony in tambon Ban Chang, Pathum Thani.

Senior provincial officials led by Charn Phuangphet, chairman of PAO, attended the ceremony.

Thinat Sombatsiri, cultural officer of Pathum Thani, said the tradition is part of Thai-Mon culture and goes back to when fireworks were attached to pieces of rope and ignited during the cremation of monks and novices. The fireworks were fired into funeral pyres.

Mr Charn said many Mon ethnic people migrated from Myanmar to Pathum Thani during the Ayutthaya era, bringing with them traditions such as this one.

Though such ceremonies are not held any more, Ms Thinat said yesterday’s competition aims to preserve the culture and tradition of those old days.

The aim of the event is for competitors to fire their rockets at certain targets.

Colourful rockets are displayed in a procession which is part of the competition, joined by more than 30 teams.

A rocket flies past a beautifully decorated structure during the competition.

A red rocket, made by participants representing Wat Bang Phang in Pathum Thani, takes off.

Rockets are queued for a launch in a rocket firing competition, held annually after the Songkran festival.