- Yasothon Province
Infobox Thai Province
name = Yasothon
thai = ยโสธร
area = 4,161.7
arearank = 54th
population = 561,430
population_as_of = 2000
populationrank = 44th
density = 135
densityrank = 29th
isocode = TH-35
governor = Wirawit Wiwatwanit
governor_since = November 2006
Yasothon ( _th. ยโสธร) is one of the provinces ("changwat") of
Thailand, located in the North-East of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket and Roi Et.
The northern part of the province are plains with low hills, while the southern part is the river lowland of the river Chi, with several ponds and swamps.
The province was created on
March 1, 1972, when it was split off from the Ubon Ratchathani province.
Yasothon is famous for the
Rocket Festival, held every year in May. Originally a fertility rite it has become the major festival of the year in the region.Every school in Yasothon trains its pupils to dance "Peun Muang", a traditional local dance so they can join the parade at the annual rocket festival. Pornsuree Seesang now 20 and studying in Bangkok danced in the Rocket festival as a child, she remembers the fun but also the heat as the children will dance for 4-5 hours in scourching sun. This celebration lasts for several days and peaks on the final day with serial firing of the makeshift bamboo-rockets, some are up to 10 meters in length and propel up to 10.000 meters. The festival grounds and firing takes place in a municipal park, the festival and parade takes place on Yasothon's main street.Rockets are individually judged by a committee and the respective winners take home attractive prizes. Malfiring rockets and bad performing ones are punished immediately by a toss of the entire rocketcrew in mudholes by their competitors!
The province is subdivided into 9 districts ("
amphoe"). The districts are further subdivided into 78 communes (" tambon") and 835 villages (" muban").
"Phaya Tan Park สวนสาธารณะพญาแถน" The park is surrounded by winding stream. It comprises beautiful garden, outdoor stage, playground, and health park. Phaya Tan Park is the venue for significant fairs and festivals of the province such as Annual Rocket Festival, Short Boat Racing, and Songkran.
"Wat Maha That. วัดมหาธาตุ" The Buddhist temple is a sacred icon of Yasothon. The ancient temple houses “Phra Buddha Boonyarat” or “Phra Kaeo Yod Nam Kang”, Buddha statue in attitude of meditation in Chiang Saen Art style. Attractions in Wat Maha That include:
"Phra That Yasothon or Phra That Arnon. พระธาตุยโสธร หรือ พระธาตุอานนท์" It is significant ancient stupas of Isan. Housing ashes of Phra Arnon inside, the square base stupa has its head similar to Phra That Phanom.
"Hor Trai or Library for Buddhist scriptures. หอไตร" The pavilion is used for keeping Buddhist scriptures. The rectangular pavilion has terrace around for housing the Buddhist scriptures chest board, cradles, and shelves from Vientiane. The niche and wooden door are well carved and covered with gold leaves.
"Phra That Kong Khao Noi. พระธาตุก่องข้าวน้อย" Different from other monuments which are often mainly concerned with Buddhism, Phra That Kong Khao Noi was built by an ordinary man. The legend says: A young farmer has been working since dawn. At noon, his mother came late with his lunch. Great hunger and sudden anger to see a tiny amount of rice drove him to kill his mother. So, the young farmers built this stupa, wishing for forgiveness and expiate.
"Ban Thung Nang Oak. บ้านทุ่งนางโอก" The village is famed for its bamboo basketry for household use and souvenir.
"Ban Na Samai. หมู่บ้านนาสะไมย" Located close to Ban Thung Nang Oak, the village is famed for bamboo basketry and carved miniature cart.
"The old building of Ban Singha Tha. ย่านเมืองเก่าบ้านสิงห์ท่า" Ban Khum Singha Tha, in Muang municipality, is the old area whose name is found in the city’s history.
"Khit Pillow at Ban Sri Than. หมู่บ้านทำหมอนขิตบ้านศรีฐาน" The village is famed for Khit Pillow, local style pillow with beautiful patterns. After harvest, most villagers earn extra by producing Khit Pillow.
"Phu Tham Phra. ภูถ้ำพระ" Housing lots of Buddha statue, the cave Phu Tham Phra is 6 metres wide and 16 metres long. The shady mountain is blanketed with lush forest. Other caves in the area include Than Keng, Tham Ngu Suang, Tham Kliang, and Tham Prombutr.
"Ban Song Puey Archeological Site. แหล่งโบราณสถานบ้านสงเปือย" Its significant attractions include:
"Big Buddha Image. พระพุทธรูปใหญ่" Made of brick, the principle Buddha of Wat Song Puey is 3 metres wide and 8 metres high. This sacred image can be dated back to more than 200 years.
"Pagodas containing soil from holy sites of Buddhism. เจดีย์บรรจุดินจากสังเวชนียสถาน" The old pagoda, more than 200 years old houses soil from holy site of Buddha, namely the place of birth, enlightenment, the first sermon, and nirvana, brought from India by a Buddhist monk, Khien Ammaphand.
"The replica of Buddha Footprint. รอยพระพุทธบาทจำลอง" The footprint was built by sponsoring of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram and his lady. Lots of local people come to bath the footprint During Songkran Festival.
"Antique Museum. พิพิธภัณฑ์ของโบราณ" The museum features antiques found from Dong Muang Toey, an ancient Khmer town. The antique include stone bed of the mayor, and stone inscription in ancient Khmer letter.
"Dong Muang Toey Ancient town. ซากเมืองโบราณดงเมืองเตย" Foundation of temple, pond, and town wall are found. Although they are ruined, their remaining indicated that it once was settlement in Chenla-Dhavaravadi period. Chenla King’s inscription indicated that this ancient site is religious place for Shivism.
"Ku Chan. กู่จาน" is an ancient pagoda similar to Phra That Phanom. Legend says it has been built in the same period to Phra That Phanom in Nakhon Phanom province.
"Yasothon Buddha Footprint. พระพุทธบาทยโสธร" The Buddha Footprint is placed on white sandy hill. It is considered a sacred antique of the province. An antique found nearby is a two-foot wide laterite Buddha image in the attitude of meditation under naga protection, and a laterite inscription which is a metre high and 50 centimetre wide.
"Hor Trai, or library of Wat Sra Trinurak. หอไตรวัดสระไตรนุรักษ์" The ancient pavilion, over a century old, located amidst pond is housing Buddhist scriptures since ancient time. The Burmese-style wooden architecture is 8.30 metre wide and 10.50 metre long, with 4-level metal-sheet roof and long eaves at all sides.
"Wat Song Yae Catholic Church. โบสถ์คริสต์วัดซ่งแย้" The church serves villagers of Ban Nong Song Yae, all of who are Catholics. This is the fourth church built in 1947 by wood contribution by the villagers. Built in Thai traditional style, the country’s biggest wooden church is 16 metres wide and 57 metres long.
Yasothon is famed for its handicrafts such as triangle pillow or Mon Kwan, Khit cloth, replica cart, sticky rice container, and basketry. Other good foods include preserved sour fish, royal featherback fish and sweet rice noodle.
Rocket Festival( _th. งานประเพณีบุญบั้งไฟ) - The festival of great fun is held during every second weekend of May at Phaya Taen Park, with the initial objective to boost harmony in each team. Yasothon people also believe that the festival will please gods and sacred spirit which create proper rain and prosperous food. Each rocket joining the celebration will be decorated beautifully with Thai traditional patterns in gold colour. It is said that rocket maker spends months in cutting the pattern before gluing with the rocket. The rocket head will be decorated differently, but the most popular figure is naga spraying water. Rocket head may be found decorated with other figures, anyway, all are related to rain-begging legends. The rocket will be tightly place on base attached to car or cart for joining the parade. There are various types of rocket, namely Bang Fai Kilo, Bang Fai Muen, and Bang Fai Saen. Bang Fai Kilo means the rocket contains a kilogram of niter Bang Fai Muen contains 12 kilograms of niter and Bang Fai Saen contains 120 kilograms of niter After making decision what type of rocket they will make, the villager will make it by themselves or assign a specialist. In making a rocket, it requires veteran specialist who can calculate proper proportion of niter and charcoal, otherwise, the rocket will be explode during the launching. The rockets will be tightly tied with a pile, making from a very strait bamboo trunk at proper length. The rocket will be launched in big field a day after the parade. Traditionally, owner of the rocket which is not launched unsuccessfully will be thrown into muddy pond.
Garland Festival ( _th. งานประเพณีแห่มาลัย) - The ancient festival of Ban Yardfah,
Amphoe Maha Chana Chai, is held annually during Makha Pucha Day. Buddhist believes that on that day, the Lord Buddha comes back from the heaven after preaching his mother. Angels welcome him back with flowers and rice. Such belief is turned into tradition when villagers make beautiful garland from rice (The rice will be baked until it pops like popcorn). Today the rice garland, 4-6 metres long, will be decorated with flowers and beads. The garland will be shown on beautiful and unique parade, and used for decorating temple’s pavilion a day before Makha Pucha.
* [http://www.tourismthailand.org/destinationguide/list.aspx?provinceid=24 Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand]
* [http://www.yasothon.go.th/ Website of province] (Thai only)
* [http://www.thailex.info/THAILEX/THAILEXENG/LEXICON/Copy%20of%20Yasothon.htm Yasothon provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.