Local Festival and Attractions Activities
Luang Prabang is rich in cultural heritage, with monasteries, historical monuments, traditional costumes and the maintained vast beauty of nature.
Pi Mai Lao - Lao New Year
Pimai Lao (the Lao New Year, 14th to 16th April), is one of the most important festivals in the Lao calendar. A time of celebration families gather to reconnect and people reflect on the year ahead. You will see thousands of sand stupas on the banks of the Mekong, with their colourful banners and offerings, designed to stop evil spirits from passing into the new year (on 14th April). During Pimai Lao, the party goes on until late andbe prepared to get soaked as you participate in the fun festivities.
Boun Kao Phansa
Boun Khao Phansa marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent, which lasts from July to October. It is the traditional three month " retreat" during which Buddhist monks are expected to stay in their own temple to study Buddha’s teaching and meditate. They are not allowed to travel anywhere or revert to being laymen. During this time, devout believers often abstain from alcohol. On Boun Khao Phansa, people prepare food donationsfor the monks, such as khaotom, rice, bananas or pork wrapped in banana leaves and also necessities like soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes and towels.
Boun Suang Heua - Boat Racing Festival
In Luang Prabang, Boun Suang Heua, or the Boat Racing Festival is held on Khao Padapdin, the Day of the Commemoration of the Dead. One week before the race, Fa Ngum Quai (along Fa Ngum Road) is taken over by stalls selling all kinds of goods, foods andgames, with loud music playing all day. On the day of the race, Big crowds gather along the banks of the Mekong River to watch and cheer on the boats. Next to the official stand a traditional orchestra plays to accompany each race and accelerate the tempo as the boats closes in on the finish line, dramatically adding to the momentum. While the boat racing has become a focus of entertainment, athletics and commerce, the Boat Festival is really an homage to water divinities and the Nagas, who are protector of the country.
Boun Ok Pansa
Boun Ok Phansa is the last day of the Buddhist lent. It occurs on the 15th day of the 11th month of the lunar calendar. In the morning, donation and offerings are made at temples around the country. In the evening, candlelight processions are held around the temples while hundreds of colourful floats decorated with flowers, incense and candles are set adrift down the rivers giving thanks to the river spirit (lai huea fai and loi ka thong). There are said to pay respect to Buddha and to thank the mother of the river for providing water, and also to direct away bad luck of the past year,enabling good luck to flow in.
Mong New Year
The Mong New Year celebration features colourful displays of traditional costumes made from green, red and white silk and ornate silver jewellery. Music from traditional Hmong instruments such as the teun-flute, Hmong-style khene pipe and leaf blowing is enjoyed. Other festivities include the Makkhon (cotton-ball) throwing ceremony, ox fighting, spinning-top races and crossbow demonstrations.
Luang Prabang Film Festival
The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an annual celebration of filmmaking in Southeast Asia - aiming to educate Lao people about film as a means of cultural expression and communication, and to support their local film industry.