Last held in 2020, the annual Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival came to an end on Sunday, as the blazing sun beat down on the parasols of onlookers and riders bounding across a dirt track on 500-900 kilo beasts of burden.

Along with traditional dances, a parade of local provinces, and a rather intense game of sao nam-mun (greasy pole climbing), the Chonburi Buffalo Racing Festival returned with a bang this year.

The race festival—which isn’t the only Chonburi buffalo race—has been held for more than a century, and races and trial runs have actually been going on throughout Chonburi since October 1. 

“This is a small one,” farmer Mam told BK Magazine at the event as she washed her buffalo with water to keep it cool in the unseasonable heat. “Only one year, but he races today.”

On the final day, Sunday, festivities began at 8am with a parade featuring floats and local and regional marching bands. With separate racing categories for the different buffalo ages, the buffalo race festival is held near the end of Buddhist Lent every year.