BANGKOK, 19 Oct 2013 Prime Minister and Defense Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has traveled to Nong Khai Province to attend the annual Naga Fireball Festival.
PM Yingluck, together with Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan and Deputy Education Minister Sermsak Pongpanit, paid a visit to Nong Khai Province where she was welcomed by provincial authorities and the locals.
There, Miss Yingluck presided over the opening ceremony of the renowned Naga Fireball Festival and witnessed a traditional dance performed by the locals. The Premier said Nong Khai has its own uniqueness and is rich with natural resources as she sees an opportunity to turn the province into a tourist destination.
Naga Fireballs locally known as Bang Fai Phaya Nak is a phenomenon event which takes place on the night of Ok Phansa during which fireballs of various sizes burst from the bottom of the Mekong River, sprint above the water surface, and then move skyward before disappearing.
Local residents believe that the fireballs belong to the Naga, the king of serpents. This natural wonder is linked to a legend dating back to the Buddha’s times. It is said that the Buddha went to heaven to instruct his mother in his teachings. He spent three months there until his mother attained enlightenment. On the full-moon day of the eleventh lunar month, the Buddha returned to earth and celestial beings built a golden and silver staircase for him to come down. With his loving kindness, the Buddha created a miracle by opening a view of the three worlds, namely heaven, the earth, and the underworld. All Nagas living in the underworld admired the Buddha for the gratitude he showed towards his mother, so they blew out flames from the bottom of the river to celebrate.