Translator : Aketawan Manowongsa
Bang Fai Phaya Nark (Naga fireballs) is a phenomenon that the mysterious fireballs raise from the Mekong River into the air above water surface. The fireballs are smoke-less, smell-less, and sound-less. They rise 20-30 meters straight up to the air then disappear without falling back to the earth as the normal fireballs do. Their sizes vary from a thumb-size to an egg-size. The amounts of the fireballs also vary, starting from around 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 or 9.00 p.m. The locations for spotting the fireball phenomenon in the Mekong River are the area of Phon Phisai, Pak Khad, Sung Kom, Sri Chiang Mai, and Bung Kan districts in Nong Khai province. The fireballs can also be found in other locations such as ponds and streams near Mekong River.
The fireball event is an unexplained phenomenon that generally takes place on the full moon night of the 11th lunar month, which also coincides with the end of the Buddhist Lent. If there are two 8th months in a particular year, the phenomenon will take place on the first waning moon night of the 11th month, which coincides with Lao’s Buddhist Lent. (Panida 2538 B.E.:77)
Beliefs and the Legend – Mekong River: Thai people in the northeast, especially in the provinces on Mekong riverbank, have believed for generations that Mekong River was the route of the Naga named ‘Pu Chao Sri Sutho’ who crawled around the mountains, differently from the other Nagas who crawled straight through the mountains. The route therefore became such winding and was called Lum Nam Kod (winding river), which then became slightly out of tone to Lum Nam Kong or ‘Kong river’ (Special Report 2544 B.E.: inside cover).
The Legend of Bang Fai Phaya Nark: When the Lord Buddha was in his Bodhisatta Phaya Kan Kark incarnation, he incarnated in Sida’s belly. When he grew up and practices his pray, Lord Indra made him a very good-looking person and also gave Udorn Kurutaweeb to be his wife. The couple regularly studied Dhama and gave sermon to all kinds of beings.
Translator : Mathurose Satiplan, Source
It is believed by Thai people that ‘Phi Tai Hong’ is the most horrible ghost, especially the person died by accident. A woman died with a baby in her womb can give the people extremely horrible and exciting feeling. The ghost called ‘Nang Nak Phrakhanong’ popularly narrated by people until the present is an example.
It was narrated by villagers in Phrakhanong district that, near the canal, which was next to Mahabus temple, there was a garden belonging to a rich man called ‘Phoo Yai Suk,’ the leader of village. At the end of the garden, the way to the temple, there was a small house, which was far from people. A couple of husband and wife lived there. The husband named Tid Mak was a man in Klong-Toey district. The wife was called Mae Nak who was a beautiful woman in Phrakhanong district. Even though, they worked in the garden and poor, they loved each other very much. Tid Mak was sent to be a soldier during Mae Nak was pregnant. Tid Mak could, at first time, come back to visit his wife. Later on, he was sent to join army in the north of Thailand for months. The army finished after Mae Nak’s baby had been born for two months.
When Tid Mak came back from army, he near the nighttime, took a boat to Wat Mahabut’s port to see Mae Nak suddenly. That night was Wan Phra’s night, 15 Khum (full moon shine). The moon’s light was enough for him to find the way to his house. When he arrived at his house, he called Mae Nak and saw her with a baby. He was very glad and hurriedly went to her. Then he had a little bit shock when touching the unusual-cool and thin wife’s body, also the baby. Mae Nak brought him favorite food as if she knew her husband was hungry. While a little bit eating, cool wind coming touched him and made him felt cold, and a spoon fell down the ground floor. Suddenly, Mae Nak could lengthen her hand to keep it. When Tid Mak wondered, she cried and told him she already died. When the baby heard his mother talking, he ran to his mother and jump to a beam, which is under the roof to show his father. Suddenly, Tid Mak knew his wife and baby was ghosts, he hurriedly ran out to his sister’s house, her name was Wan, while the lamp’s light did not work anymore. After that, Nang Nak followed and called him. Tid Oum protected him by spreading the holy water around the house and asked her to go.