We first passed through the party when it was just getting started. It wasn’t quite dark yet but the music had already begun and people were starting to crowd around the northernmost dance floor (there were three distinct “sections” of the party, which I’ll get into later). At this point more people were sitting than standing, most with a drink in hand. The crowd was mostly filled with people coming off of ferries returning from other islands, and boats that were parking in the marina for the evening.

Since the famous “fireballs” hadn’t been lit yet and we were all hungry I went home with my family for dinner before returning to the Full Moon Festival. When we came back it was around 9:30pm and it was quite dark out. The scene had certainly changed, and in the distance I could see fireballs by the southernmost area of the beach. We walked through the north section of the party, passing a DJ booth that was blasting music to a somewhat busy dance floor. As we walked through the second “section” of the party it was a bit busier with more people on that dance floor and different music playing. There were also quite a few people up at the bar getting drinks and socializing.

We quickly continued on our way south with our true goal in sight, the “fireballs”. As we entered the third section of the party we saw one of the metal sculptures filled with fire, on the land. There were two more fireballs in the water and one fire pyramid on land. This section of the party was much more populated and for good reason. The metal sculptures surrounding the fire were beautiful and depicted scenes of people dancing and playing, as well as mythical beasts. There was a stilt walker, aka “mocko jumbie”, walking through the party. He was dancing around on land and in the water by one of the fireballs, and had some impressive tricks in his repertoire. There was a bar at the south end of this section and a store next to it that some people were wandering around. The theme of the party was Pirates and there were many in costume. Out front of the store was a giant net that was suspended in the trees allowing a large group of people to lay down in it. Dancing and drinking on the beach by the fireballs was quite an experience! From start to finish you could feel the spirit of the island throughout the party, but the later portion was particularly eventful. I absolutely intend to return for the festival in the future.