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Annual festivals

Boat racing in Nam Khan River
In mid-term of the Buddhist Lent, at the time of the new moon, the biggest boat race takes place in the Nam Khan River, in the center of the town of Luang Prabang. It is a very popular event and many people from the countryside and all over the (...)
Phansa, the Buddhist lent
During 3 lune cycles, the monks are doing a retreat that restricted the usual way of life in the pagoda; monks will not be allowed to sleep in a different temple, they will spend more time to meditate. The commun life is more quiet: wedding are (...)
Pathet Lao anniversary
This day is holiday, in memory of Pathet Lao The Pathet Lao (ປະເທດລາວ, "Lao Nation") was a communist political movement and organization in Laos, formed in the mid-20th century. The group was ultimately successful in assuming political power after the (...)
Anniversary of the Lao army
On the January 1949, the independent Lao army was created. Every year since then, large posters are a reminder throughout the country that date which was certainly the first step towards full independence and domination of the Lao Communist (...)
Chinese (and Vietnamese) new year
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as "Spring Festival," the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūnjié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, (...)
Boun Khao Chi (Makhaboucha)
A ceremony is held at the "Wat" (temple) in the morning, when a special "bread made of sticky rice" is offered. This festival is held during the third full moon of the lunar calendar. The festival commemorates the original teachings of Lord (...)
Wat Phou festival
The Vat Phu Festival takes place every year, on the 15th day of the increasing moon of the 3rd month (in January-February) and coincides with the Makha Busa Buddhist Festival. The believers come from a great distance to attend the ceremony ; (...)
Elephant Festival
Iinitiated in 2006 by an NGO working for years with the elephants, this annual meeting became one of the big festivals of Laos, followed by thousands of Laotians who move to attend a number of exercises, parades, and elections of the most (...)
Boun Phavet
Until the Lao new year, the pagoda celebrates the festival of Phavet. During 3 all days (and nights), the monks take it in turns to read a part of the life of "Phavet". Each pagoda celebrates successively this annual (...)
International women’s day
International Women's Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is marked on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards (...)
Day of Lao People’s Revolutionary Party
The Lao People's Revolutionary Party is a communist political party that has governed Laos since 1975. The policy-making organs are the politburo and the central committee. A party congress, which elects members to the politburo and central (...)
Pimay, Lao new year
Lao New Year is the most widely celebrated festival in Laos. When it's usually celebrated for 3 days in Laos, Luang Prabang celebrates it for almost 1 week. During this time, we can participate to the festival of water where all the people throw (...)
International worker’s day
International Workers' Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labour movement. May 1 is a national holiday. During this day, houses display flags, especially the communist one, relatively discreet the rest of the year. (...)
Visakha Bouxa / Boun Bang Fai
The Vixakha Bouxa festival (also written Visakha Bouça) commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, which are all said to have happened on the same date. It is held around the month of May or Vesak, based on the lunar calendar (...)
Children’s day
Like every year, students will meet up at their school, having party, dancing, and receiving gifts. At this special occasion, students, teachers, and parents are meeting to dance, and drink all together. This party marks the end of the course, (...)
Beginning of the buddhist lent
Enter Buddhist Lent Day is a period of three lunar months during the rainy season when monks are required to remain in one particular place or wat (pagoda). Monks and novices have to swear themselves to live in the same place. They can’t stay in (...)
Lao Issara day (Day of the Free Laos)
The Lao Issara (Free Laos, also transcribed Lao Isara or Lao Issala) was a nationalist and separatist movement, introduced in 1945. The Lao Issara was the first to use the name of Pathet Lao, which he formed the first incarnation. The Lao Issara (...)
Boun Ho Khao Padabdine
The 14th day of the waning moon of the ninth month of Buddhist calendar, all Laotians annually celebrate the feast of Ho Khao Padabdine, the "Day of the Dead". That day, the Buddhist make a donation to the death, in the form of food delivered to (...)
The boat racing festival
Boat racing (Boun Souang Heua) is a local festival that takes place every year all around the country during 6 weeks, from end of August and beginning of October (depending on the lunar calendar). Most Laos traditional boat racing festivals take (...)
Boun Khao Salak or the celebration of the dead
Hold during the 10th full moon of the lunar calendar, this festival is a celebration and a remembrance of the dead. During this festival, the Lao make offerings to the monks at the local Wat on behalf of deceased ancestors. Participing gives (...)
Teacher’s day
In many countries, Teachers' Days are intended to be special days for the appreciation of teachers; World Teachers' Day is celebrated across the world on October 5. Ever since the importance of teachers has been recognized by UNESCO, by adopting (...)
Festival of lights
This is the "Lai Heua Fai" Festival, the festival of the fire boat. The day is celebrated by illuminated boat processions handmade with bamboo and banana trunks, colourfully decorated with candles and money. Each family has to make one, each (...)
Ok Phansa, end of Buddhist lent
After three months restricted to their temples, learning dharma and practicing meditation, the Buddhist monks once again return to their social duties and are welcomed with offerings of food and gifts. For three months, it was the rainy season, (...)
Boun That Luang
The Golden Stupa or Pha That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument in Laos and Vientiane’s most important Buddhist festival is Boun That Luang. The That Luang festival is held over three-seven days during the full (...)
National day
December 2, 1975, the Pathet Lao (literally "the Lao people," the name of the Communist Party) announces the abolition of the monarchy (as of 29 November, the King and Queen Savang Vatthana Khamphoui are forced to abdicate), and proclaims the (...)
Luang Prabang Film Festival
With cooperation from the Department of Cinema (a division of the Ministry of Information and Culture) of the Lao PDR, the annual Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) presents films on a Southeast Asian theme to tourists and locals in December (...)
Hmong new year
As every year, Hmong New year is "the first of the 5 new year days" in Laos (before the Lao Theung, Christian, Chinese and finally Lao new year). This festival takes usually takes place before the end of the twelfth lunar calendar month, when (...)