Events & Festivals in Laos
Laos has many festivals, or Boun scattered throughout the year to commemorate various aspects of traditional Lao lifestyle and culture. Most festivals are connected with religion and follow the rice farming seasonal cycle. The timing each festivals is calculated according to the Buddhist lunar calendar which changes every year. Please check the latest information before attending these events.
Lao National Day - 2nd
Celebrating the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1975, by the Pathet Lao (literally "the Lao people," and the name of the Communist Party). The new flag was introduced: blue, white and red… the color red represents the bloodshed for independence, and the blue represents the Mekong, or health of the country. The white disc symbolizes the moon over the Mekong or the unity of the country under the Communist government.
The holiday is celebrated nationwide, and even in the tiniest towns and villages, the celebration is mandatory. In Luang Prabang, there are parades, speeches and dancing at That Luang temple and Lao National and communist hammer and sickle flags are flown all over the country.
That Inghang Festival
The ritual ceremony is performed annually at the Pha That Ing Hang (Ing Hang Stupa), one of the most sacred stupas in Savannakhet Province and in Central Lao. People organize a festival to show their respect to Buddhism and to the people who built the stupa. Many people including the old and young come to the festival from the south and north of Lao. People make offerings of Khanmarkbeng (a small green tower-like offering, which has good made of banana leaves and flowers) around the stupa. People also ask nuns who are around the stupa for blessings. The nuns give blessings to people by tying cotton strings around their wrists. Local people bring forest products like honey and traditional food as offerings.
The festival includes an international trade fair with vendors from Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The festival also features a sports competition for football, boxing, tennis, along with traditional Lao music, dance, and drumming performances.
Former President Kaysone Phomvihane's Birthday - 13th
13 December 1920 – 21 November 1992. He was the first leader of the Communist Lao People's Revolutionary Party from 1955 until his death in 1992. After the Communists seized power in the wake of the Laotian Civil War, he was the de facto leader of Laos from 1975 until his death. He served as the first Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic from 1975 to 1991 and then as the second President from 1991 to 1992.
Hmong New Year - Mid Dec
This colorful event showcases the fascinating culture and history of the Hmong people, the third-largest ethnic group in Laos. It's a celebration of colors and their biggest festival of the year - a definite must-see.