Traveling to Laos - Can't miss the unique festivals
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Laos Travel Guide
The country of millions of elephants annually organizes typical festivals, showing a rich Buddhist culture. Traveling to Laos, the following festivals cannot be missed!
"Water Festival" Bunpimay
Bunpimay is held in April every year according to the Buddhist calendar, attracting a lot of locals and tourists to join the festival. Vang Vieng and the ancient capital of Luang Prabang are the most visited during this festival season. Instead of wishing the beginning of the year, Lao people "splash water" at each other to wish all the best things, pray for favorable rain and wind, and a warm and prosperous new year.
To pay respects and wish them a long life, the younger "splashes water" on the elders. In addition, people "splash" on houses, objects of worship, livestock and tools of production. They always believe that clean and cool water will help wash away bad things, diseases, and wish a peaceful and healthy New Year. The more people get wet, the happier they are.
If traveling to Laos during these days, be ready to receive blessings with water and prepare yourself to be wet from head to toe, even while driving or walking. The best way is to join the crowd with water containers and take good care of your electronic devices.
That Luang Festival
That Luang festival has a very clear Buddhist culture and is considered the most typical festival in the country of millions of elephants. That Luang in Lao means big tower, this is considered the symbol of the country, the largest and most beautiful temple in the country.
The festival takes place from 9/11 and lasts until the end of 11/11 in the capital Vientiane. The main part of That Luang ceremony is the procession of Pha Sat Phuong from Mother Xi Muong pagoda to That Luang. When coming to That Luang, the processioners carrying Pha Sat Phuong walked around That Luang three times and stopped at the back hall to offer the ceremony, then the monk received the offerings with solemnity and respect.
Attending the That Luang festival, Lao tourists, in addition to practicing religious rites, offering offerings to the Buddha, also enjoy traditional dishes, participate in many cultural and artistic exchange activities, buy finely crafted handicrafts, etc.
Boat Racing Festival (Suang Huea)
The Suang Huea Boat Racing Festival on the Mekong River is one of the major festivals of Laos that takes place at the end of the three-month Lent (the full moon day of the 11th month according to the Buddhist calendar). The festival usually has 23 teams competing with 12 rowers and 55 rowers. At the festival, the spirit of sports competition is clearly shown, solidarity, civilization and fairness, the rowers of the teams participating in the boat race bring viewers very attractive racing in the eyes of Lao tourists.
Suang Huea has existed for a long time, until now, the date of the festival's birth has not been determined. Suang Huea is also an opportunity for Lao people to express their gratitude to heaven and earth and the river for blessing the people with a bountiful harvest and a prosperous life.
Bun Bangfai Rain Festival
In Laos, in mid-May, the Bun Bangfai rain festival is held on different days in different places and scattered throughout the month. Naxone village in Pakngum district, Vientiane capital is the place to hold a big festival compared to other villages and attracts a large number of Lao people and Lao tourists to immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere of the festival.
Before that, the cannon used in the festival was covered with colorful patterned cloth and was carried around the village. On a festival day, 2-3 cannons are launched into the sky. These cannons are mainly made by villages or by individuals and businesses to pray for a successful year to come.
Boun Awk Phansa
Held on the full moon of November in the Lao Buddhist calendar (around the end of October of the solar calendar), the Manchurian festival is an occasion for monks and Buddhists to gather at the temple to summarize what they have done during the three months of fasting and learn from experience. On the main day of the festival, adults go to the temple to worship Buddha, make offerings to pray for blessings. Younger people jostle to the banks of the Mekong River to go to fairs, to meet friends and to shop. The last night, the monks made a candle procession to go three times in the temple to commemorate the immeasurable merits of the Buddha as well as remember the teachings.
The road from the temples to the river is crowded with people going to the festival. Tens of thousands of people, young men and women holding in their hands a round boat of flowers made of banana leaves or coconut leaves with chrysanthemums, marigolds, lotus flowers ... in the middle with a shimmering candle, went to the river bank to drop into the water and send many good wishes about life.
Traveling to Laos will be much more interesting if you participate in festivals that are very specific to the religion and beliefs of the people here. Please contact Threeland Travel to receive the best deals on Laos tours, and check out more handbooks to equip the perfect trip experience!