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Local Festivals

A celebration of culture

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Luang Prabang with local festivals taking place throughout the year, including the Lao New Year and traditional Boat Race.

Join in the traditional festivities at Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang celebrates its rich cultural heritage with various festivities taking place throughout the year. Deeply intertwined with the nation's traditions, these celebrations commemorate various aspects of the traditional Lao lifestyle and culture. Most festivals are connected to religion and follow the rice farming seasonal cycle.

Lao New Year

Pi Mai Lao, also known as Songkran, is one of the most important and liveliest festivals in Laos. It takes place over three days in the middle of April every year. Each day signifies the last day of the old year, a day of "no year", and the first day of the new year respectively. Laotians welcome their new year by splashing scented water on one another, symbolising the washing away of the past and welcoming of the new.


Hmong New Year

Hmong New Year is celebrated over three days in early December. Traditionally, family members cook ten different dishes for each of the three days. Young people commonly play a traditional game called Pov Pob (Tossing a Cotton Ball) and meet a potential future wife or husband.


Boun Suang Heua - Boat Racing Festival

This festival is held during Buddhist Lent sometime in September of every year. Racing boat teams come from most of the villages in Luang Prabang to take part in the race at Nam Khan River.

Festival of Light or Festival of the Fire Boat

Boun Lai Heua Fai, the Festival of Light, marks the end of Vassa or Buddhist Lent. Households and monasteries are adorned with candles and paper lanterns in the shape of stars. It is also known as the Festival of the Fire Boat because of the illuminated boat processions decorated with candles, paper lanterns, and flowers. Each family in Luang Prabang builds its own fire boat and floats it on the Mekong River to pay respects to the water spirits, give thanks for blessings, and wish for good luck in the future. Held every October, the festival is a sight to behold as over 20,000 handmade boats illuminate the Mekong.


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