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Laos Events

Lao Food Festival

Held at the National Cultural Hall in Vientiane, there are stalls from the following districts – Vientiane, Savannakhet, Champassak, Khammouane, Sayabouly, Luang Prabang, Xiengkhouang and Houaphanh – who demonstrate cookery and sell traditional handicraft items.


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Lao National Day

Every year in December Lao people celebrate the 1975 victory over monarchy and there’s not much choice but to join in – expect lots of Communist fanfare.


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Boun Khao Phansaa

Boun Khao Phansaa marks the time of Buddhist Lent when Buddhist monks retreat from the monsoon rains into their monasteries. This tends to be when there is an influx of young monks, or when those already studying engage in meditation.


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Rocket Festival

Bamboo rockets, known as ‘bang fai’ are shot into the sky to stimulate a favourable rice harvest. There is also lots of music and enthusiastic dance.


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Haw Khao Padap Din

A sombre festival of the dead, marked by the ceremony of exhuming buried bodies, and cremating them during the full moon. Relatives of the dead also present gifts to monks present at the ceremony.


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Bun Pha That Luang festival

Celebrated mainly in Vientiane for a whole week, this is one of the most important religious festivals, celebrating the Pha That Luong monument. People from all over Laos flock to the capital to see firework displays and to drink dance and be merry.


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Luang Prabang Film Festival

A celebration of South East Asian film, this festival was set up by American Gabriel Kuperman in 2009 while the first actual festival took place in 2010. The open-air free event features films from every South East Asian nation except Brunei.


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Lao Elephant Festival

Held in Sayabouly Province, this festival pays tribute to the national symbol of ‘The Land of a Million Elephants’. The event features about three dozen adorned pachyderms competing for ‘Elephant of the Year’, along with elephant processions and bathing, traditional Buddhist blessings, stalls and live performances.


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Visakha Puja

Chanting, religious instruction, and candlelit processions highlight this temple festival in celebration of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha.


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Lao New Year (Bun Pi Mai)

During the celebration of Lao new year houses are cleaned and Lao people celebrate by splashing each other during water flights.


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Bun Pha Wet

A festival that commemorates the Jataka, the life story of Lord Buddha as Prince Vessantara. The story is performed in temples throughout the country and this is considered a particularly auspicious time for gaining ordination as a monk.


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Handicrafts Festival

Held at the ITECC (International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre) over 370 producers come to the capital to demonstrate their arts, from silk, cotton, rattan, wood, silver, and pottery products. There are also Lao traditional food demonstrations, handicraft products contests and fashion shows.


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