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Nong Khai Naga Fireball World Festival 2019
October 10 - October 21
At Phon Phisai district, the festival takes place along with the Royal Trophy Long Boat Race from 12-21 October 2019.
At Mueang Nong Khai, the festival takes place from 10-16 October 2019
One of the many unique Thai local experiences that shouldn’t be missed, the annual ‘Naga Fireball Festival’ never fails to wow the crowds of spectators who gather to watch mysterious – and as yet unexplained – balls of fire burst from the waters of the Mekong River high into the air.
The fireballs are a spectacular phenomenon to witness and their emergence from the mighty Mekong River each year is surrounded in mystery and intrigue. Some believe the Naga – half human and half serpentine beings said to dwell in the Mekong – light the fireballs at the end of Buddhist Lent or Ok Phansa to pay respect to Buddha. The scientific theory is that the fireballs are methane gas from underground which float to the surface of the Mekong and then burn up in the air.
The fireballs usually appear in or around the 15th day of the waxing moon in the 11th lunar month and really are an ideal opportunity to experience Thailand from a somewhat mystical spectacular – a new perspective that can be taken alongside the existing ones, just as the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) suggests in the ‘Amazing Thailand: Open to the New Shades’ communication concept.
The ‘stars of the show’, the fireballs themselves, usually appear after 18.00 Hrs. and can be seen from the Mekong riverside as well as from Phon Phisai District in Nong Khai to the neighbouring province of Bueng Kan. This year, the date falls on 13 October.
For tourists wanting to discover more of Nong Khai, the choice of attractions and scenic locations to visit before or after the ‘Naga Fireball Festival’ include Wat Pho Chai, Than Thong Waterfall, Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge and Phu Huay Ei San to name just a few.
Naga Fireball World Festival 2019 & the Royal Trophy Boat Race, 12-21 October 2019, at Lan Naga Boek Fa, Phon Phisai District:
The highlight is on 13 October 2019, from 16.00 Hrs. onwards, including the sacred dance ceremony with 1,000 dancers to mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, the floating of Naga float onto Mekong River, the Naga firewall phenomenon (after 18.00 Hrs.), the illuminated boat procession, and cultural and folk performances unique to the communities in the Phon Phisai District.
Other highlights include a mass merit-making ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, daily cultural performances and exhibitions, daily folk performances, light-and-sound shows, beauty contest, OTOP and food fair and music concert.
The Royal Trophy Boat Race will take place on 19 October for 12-oarsmen long boats and on 21 October for 25- oarsmen long boats.
Naga Fireball Festival 2019 & the End of Buddhist Lent, 10-16 October 2019, in Mueang Nong Khai Municipal area, Mueang Nong Khai District:
Daily light-and-sound presentations will take place from 10-13 October at Wat Sri Bun Rueang. Other highlights are exhibition of ancient long boats, LED light decorations, illuminated Naga boat procession, display of giant floats, ancient wax castle procession, street food fair, stage performance and music concert, and a mass merit-making ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent. The long boat race will take place on 14 October 2019 for general long boat with 55 oarsmen.
For more information, contact:
TAT Udon Thani Office
Tel. +66 (0) 4232 5406-7
Email: [email protected]