Bring along your camera and immerse yourself into the lively atmosphere of the Lao New Year Festival. In this occasion, you will have chance to join the liveliest activities in your Laos tours, which is the water festival and many exciting activities.
The Lao water festival
The Lao water festival is one of the most attractive traditional festivals of South East Asian countries. It has different names in different countries which are Bunpimay in Laos, Songkran in Thailand, Cambodia in Chol Chnam Thmey and Thingyan in Myanmar. The festival has the meaning of the refreshment, prosperity and the purity of human life. In these days, people will splash water each other in order to cherish the Lao New Year, praying for lucks and happiness to come.
Traditional customs in Lao New Year
The Lao New Year usually begins on April 12 or 13, to mark the beginning of the rainy season. On the first day, members in family gather together, clean houses and streets, prepare perfumed water (for dousing water each other) and flowers for decoration. After that, they will visit pagodas to get blesses from monks, pray good things for their family and take a bath to wash away the bad deeds from the past year and start afresh.
As for the second day of the Lao New Year festival, people believe it is the “day of no day” which falls neither the old year nor the new year. On this day, elders will not allow young people to take nap, because they don’t want to get sick in the coming year.
The last day of the festival marks the start of the new year. This day many families will hold a Baci at their houses to welcome Lao New Year as well as to wish their elders good health and long life. Some might respectfully ask for forgiveness from their elders for things that they did in the past year that might have hurt their feelings unintentionally. And at the same time they give the elders gifts.
Where to travel on Lao New Year festival?
Even though this important festival is held all over the country, you will get the most exciting experience in Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng. The former has many temples as well as many tourist attracting sites with many joyful traditional games. As for the latter, visitors can have chance to take part in several interesting activities during the New Year celebrations include long-tail boat riding, trekking and other festivities.
On visiting Laos in the new year time, you are supposed to receive many water blessings. For that reason, don’t get upset if you are suddenly poured water on the road. Don’t get them wrong, they just want to wish you good health and lucks.
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