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.