Laos - A Land of Festivals and Celebrations
If you’re looking for a land of festivals, Laos is one. Due to the rich culture and religion, this land is full of delightful festivals.
Laos is a land of festivals and celebrations, happening monthly. In general, Lao people like to party and they enjoy festivals as long as possible. Festivals in Laos are largely linked to agricultural seasons or historical Buddhist holidays and the majority of these festivals are based on the Buddhist faith, signifying traditional aspects of the Lao lifestyle. Here we listed some of the most important festivals in Laos.
1. Boun Pi Mai (Lao New Year)
Lao New Year is celebrated under the Buddhist calendar and takes place annually around April. This is an important celebration for the Lao people with colorful parades and visits to the temples to give offerings. The throwing of water is the festival's highlight as Lao people believe that by throwing water they could wash the old spirits away and welcome the New Year.
Water throwing in New Year Festival. Monks also enjoy it!
2. Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Taking place during the dry season in May, the Rocket Festival is a call for rain. This celebration takes place nationwide, with many villages get together and fire huge homemade rockets into the sky to call for rain for the planting season. There are many contests for projectiles that fly the furthest.
3. Boun Khao Padabdin
An important religious festival in Luang Prabang, Boun Khao Padabdin festival is celebrated to honor the dead and make merit by giving offerings to thousands of monks that pass through the city at sunrise. Taking place in August every year, it is also a major attraction for visitors as it includes the famous dragon boat races on the Nam Khan River.
4. Boun Suang Heua (Boat Racing Festival)
In Luang Prabang, Boat Racing Festival is held on Khao Padapdin (from the 17th to 18th August), including boat racing on the Nam Khan River and a trade fair in Luang Prabang City. In Vientiane, it is organized in the day after the End of Buddhist Lent, from the 2nd to 3rd October. In the evening, candlelight processions are held around the temples and hundreds of colorful floats decorated with flowers; incense and candle are set adrift down the Mekong River in thanksgiving to the river spirit. On the next day, an exciting boat racing competition is held on the Mekong.
Boat Racing on the Nam Khan River
5. That Luang Festival
Considered to be one of the biggest festivals in Vientiane, the That Luang Festival attracts Lao people from all over the country to the main temple in the capital. This three-day event takes place in November during the full moon. Market stalls, food vendors, and amusement rides are set up all around That Luang in celebration.
That Luang Festival
Again, above are just a few of the most popular festivals and holidays in Laos. Please note that government offices are closed on these days and, although certain shops stay open, there is not a lot. However, if your vacation in Laos takes place right on the event celebration, you will be invited to join. Just prepare to get endless fun and joy!
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(Image Sources: Internet)