Festivals and events
Lao Celebrations are generally linked to agricultural seasons or Buddhist holidays and vary according to the lunar calendar or villages. Thus, it is difficult to know in advance.
In Laos, the festival has retained its meaning. Laotians of all origins in the same spirit, the same usability enthusiastically take part in many events, both secular and religious, leaving behind all their worries. Parties are regularly throughout the year and fall almost every day of the full moon.. Every occasion of life, such as birth, marriage, funeral, is an excuse to make a "boun," but remains essentially religious.
The party is for a Lao means of acquiring merit, which is a very nice philosophy.
• Vietnamese and Chinese New Year:
New Year celebrated especially in Chinese temples in Vientiane, Thakhek, Savannakhet and Pakse. It gives rise to fireworks and explosions of firecrackers between late January and early February. On this occasion, governments and banks are closed for 3 days.
• New international year:
Official Day and celebrated mainly in private holiday parties.
Annual harvest festival during which villagers pay homage to the spirits of the earth who have allowed their crops to grow.
Many festivals take place in January monasteries, especially at the boun PhaVet, reciting the history of Vessanthara legendary king who was the penultimate incarnation of Buddha. Sermons and processions, dances and games, theater, alternate around the pagoda.
This holiday commemoratesthe firstsermonof the Buddhatohis disciplesin 1250andthe sayingof the foundations ofmonastic life.
The monksgather topreachand faithfulgo tothe pagoda toofferpresents andlisten to theirsermons.
It is celebratedmainlyin VientianeandWatPhounearChampassak.
This isa jovialcelebrationinHmongvillages, during whichresidentsput on theircostumesandpartiessometimessmoke opium.
• Boun Khao Khun
It is the harvest festival .
This festival is celebrated throughout the country at different times of the month of March.
• Boun Lao Pimay or water festival (solar New Year)
Only the party is Pimay solar definition , which explains why it is fixed in the Gregorian calendar . This festival lasts longer than a week, 15, 16 and 17 April are therefore officially nonworking.
It coincides with the renewal of nature and the first rains.
It marks the Buddhist New Year and Lao, and uses special rites.
Life stops across the country. Birds and fish captives are released.
This is a great opportunity to cleaning houses. Dancing and having fun. Faithful to sprinkle holy water and statues of Buddha deposited as offerings of fruit and flowers in front of the altars. Then, under the pretext of purification, Lao take to the streets and sprinkle water.
• Boun Visakha Bouça / Boukha
It is the simultaneous commemoration of the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, which falls on the 15th day of the 6th lunar month. On this occasion, Laos sing and organize torchlight processions and around Wat.
• Boun Bang Fay:
The Rocket Festival is a secular celebration of fertility and the call for rain, but also a Buddhist festival . It is an opportunity for a genuine popular enthusiasm that comes with music, dances, processions and ends by throwing rockets filled with bamboo powder, supposed to come tickle the clouds and trigger the rainy season which will bring water for the rice fields. In some places, men blacken their faces with soot, while women wear sunglasses and wooden phallus to imitate men.
This festival takes place in towns and cities across the country, especially in the Vientiane Plain and the South.
• The International Labour Day:
This festival , which takes place on May 1, is also a holiday.
• Boun Khong Seng:
During this festival is organized competitions drums in the countryside.
• Bun Khao Phansa (Entry of Buddhist Lent.)
This is the beginning of the traditional "rains retreat" of three months.
It marks the beginning of the withdrawal of monks in their temples, and this for a period of three months. It was during this period that men who wish to retire requested to be ordered.
Before the beginning of Lent, the faithful gather to prepare the area by candles. A competition is then held in a particular place, where we drew by lot the name of the pagoda which will be offered the finest. Then a procession takes place in the streets of the city to visit the temples. The first two days, religious confess to their supervisors. Then, for the duration of Lent, they strictly observe: the rules prescribed by the religion, including forbidden to spend the night away pagodas.
• Hokhao Padapdin and Hokhao Slak:
Day of the Dead is celebrated twice a year , on the fourteenth day of the waning moon of the ninth month ( August) and the full moon of the tenth month (September).
The first, "Hokhao padapdin" can be regarded as the Buddhist Lent. Monks solemnly receive alms of the faithful. That day, the king of the underworld allows damned return to earth to collect a share of merits dedicated by their parents.
The second, "Hokhao Slak" takes place after a similar ceremony.
• Water Festival
This festival marks the end of the rainy season and the time when the waters return to their bed. It occurs mainly in Luang Prabang and Vientiane, but everywhere, and gives rise to canoe races .
• Ok Phansa (Output of Buddhist Lent)
This festival symbolizes the " output of Lent ." This is a festival which is celebrated at the end of the rainy season. During the time of abstinence for a period of three months, the monks who spent all their time together in a pagoda could injure them. Thus, the day of the end of Lent, before parting, they organize a meeting during which they recite the formula of | . Has Pavarana " in which they seek to forgive their sins and reconciliation made , they separate to return each to his pagoda and monks were again allowed to leave the monasteries to travel. on the occasion of the celebration of the end of Lent , the faithful carry offerings in monasteries. All the sacred places and even homes particular are illuminated. evening hundreds of small rafts loaded with offerings and lit a candle are licked on the river. at the end of the rains Retreat ,
• Boun Souang Heua / Bun Nam ( Racing canoes )
This festival is celebrated in cities located along rivers, as Vientiane , Luang Prabang and Savannakhet , which are organized canoe races . It takes place the day after the Ok Phansa and thus marks the end of the rainy season when the waters return to their bed.
Boun That Luang • ( full moon )
The festivities begin at Wat Si Muang and ends one week later by a torchlight around Pha That Luang in Vientiane. Population pays tribute to the relic of Buddha enclosed in the large reliquary.
The first day of the festival, hundreds of monks gather early in the morning to receive the offerings of the faithful. A quest of solemn monks takes place inside the sanctuary, where are deposited floral constructions. This festival causes multiple activities , such as games Ti Chi ( this game ritual) , racing ponies , music stands , skill games , fireworks ...
At the same time , across the country , each region organizes the feast of local That.
This festival also marks the end of harvest season of rice.
• The Lao National Day:
This festival takes place on December 2 .
It commemorates the 1975 revolution the monarchy and gives rise to many formal ceremonies, resulting in many parades and speeches. The national flag and the flag with the Communist hammer and sickle are present in the whole country.
• Boun Pha Vet:
During this festival commemorates one of the incarnations of Buddha ordaining monks. It is an opportunity many receptions and family pagodas.
It is possible to extend over the month of January.
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