The biggest celebration of Bun Bang Fai is in Yasothon, Thailand.
“Unsaid things can be said.”
One highlight of the wild, unique Bun Bang Fai Parade is launching rockets (made of bamboo and packed with gunpowder) as an act of fertility offerings for the upcoming rainy season. During the final days before the last rockets are fired “unsaid things can be said.” Wild costumes and dancing is not only normal but expected.
Throughout the days leading up to the final event, surrounding villages in the provinces arrive to put on dance performances which are unique to each village.
Thailand is one of our most popular destinations! Let us take YOU!
In the upper highlands of eastern Bali, some traditional villages still retain the original animist religion and Balinese way of life that existed before the arrival of Hinduism on the island. Here the village’s local buffalo wander at will through the village streets.
Seen on the Street | Bali Buffalo January 14th, 2015ICS Travel Group
While vacationing on the island of Bali, Indonesia, an ICS team member was invited to view a Balinese cremation ceremony.
The cremation ceremony is extremely important for the Balinese because it allows the soul to be released into the afterlife.
The higher the rank, the more elaborate the preparations and decorations required.
The deceased is placed inside a coffin at the beginning of the ceremony. The coffin is then placed inside a sarcophagus and carried to the cremation site.
An elaborate, bamboo structure – created especially for this ritual – carries the sarcophagus as well as various family members and important guests. Other members of the ceremony carry the bamboo structure (including all passengers) on their shoulders all the way to the cremation site. The procession is an event unto itself. In order to avoid evil spirits, the processional route is full of starts and stops, twists and turns.
Once the whole party has reached the site, the final stage of the ritual begins. A dance and other ceremonies are performed and the sarcophagus is burned. Being cremated is one of the most important parts of Balinese life. The fire is viewed as necessary to free the spirit from the body and enable reincarnation. Balinese believe the body must be consumed by fire for the soul to return to its five constituent elements known as the panca maha bhita (earth, wind, fire, water and ether).
We’d like to take you to Bali too! Tell us you would like to go!
In December 1969, the 5th Southeast Asian Peninsular Games were hosted in Rangoon, Burma (now known as Yangon, Myanmar). Six countries participated in athletic competitions including Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Football, Gymnastics, Judo, Sailing, Table Tennis, and Weightlifting #tbt
Throwback Thursday | Do you like games? Who do you think won these? January 11th, 2015ICS Travel Group
Cows can be found freely wandering the streets of India’s cities. They are considered sacred and will often wear a tilak…a Hindu symbol of good fortune. Cows are considered one of humankind’s seven mothers because they offer milk as does one’s natural mother.
Traditions & Beliefs | Sacred Cows in India November 3rd, 2014ICS Travel Group
The Vietnam Federation of UNESCO has listed a 120-year-old house called “Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House” as one of Vietnam’s most impressive destinations.
Huynh Thuy Le was the inspiration for the protagonist in French author Marguerite Duras’s novel “L’ Amant.” His house is famous for its unique architecture blending southern Vietnamese, French, and Chinese styles.
The wooden house was built the town of Sa Dec in 1895. In 1917, Huynh Thuy Le’s father rebuilt the house like a French villa, using both eastern and western architectural elements.
Last year more than 30,000 people visited the house, including this group led by ICS guide Phan Anh “Tony” Tuan.
Story Behind the Image | L’ Amant House December 11th, 2014ICS Travel Group
For the next few weeks, we would like to use our “Seen on the Street” series to highlight the tremendous diversity of artistic ability that is seen not only in markets, architecture and galleries of our destinations, but also literally on the street.
These are some of our favourite street art photos and we would like to celebrate our destinations as part of a global community of artists.
This week, we go to Nepal!
Street Art: Nepal
Seen on the Street | Street Art Series: Nepal January 14th, 2015ICS Travel Group