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Luang Prabang Info
Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year)
Though officially only a 3 day festival, every April Pi Mai Lao cerebrated with style in Luang Prabang-the events and activities last a full week here. There is a trade fair at the old stadium, open markets on the main street, a ‘Miss Lao New Year’ contest and various parades. Buddha images are taken out of the temples to be cleaned in perfumed water by the faithful, baci (a traditional blessing ceremony) are held in people’s homes, and symbolic sand stupas are built for good luck. The revered Phabang-the Buddha from which Luang Prabang derives its name-is displayed and worshipped at Vat Mai. Pi Mai, However is best known as a cheerful water festival- everyone throws water on one another so be prepared to get soaked!
Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year)Lao New Year
Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year) Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year)

Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Boun Bang Fai is a rain-making and fertility festival that takes place after Pi Mai just before the rainy season, usually during May. The rockets fertilize the clouds and bring rain which in turn feed the rivers and fertilize the field. The rocket festival is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining of them all with colorful processions through the towns and villages.
Rocket festival in Luang PrabangBoun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival) Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)

Boun Khao Pansa (Buddhist Lent)
This is the beginning of Buddhist Lent. Following Van Kao Pansa, for three months Buddhist monks spend most of their time in prayer and meditation and are restricted from spending the night in other temples. In the morning of Khao Pansa, the devoted wake early to ‘tak bat’-give alms to the monks at the many temples in town. This festival is held during the eighth full moon of lunar calendar. 
Boun Khao Pansa (Buddhist Lent) Tak Bath
Boun Khao Pansa (Buddhist Lent) Boun Khao Pansa (Buddhist Lent)

While in Luang Prabang, you may observe the morning alms giving ceremony where monks walk through town in single file carrying their alms bowls to give laypeople the opportunity to offer alms and gain merit. Offerings by the people are usually comprised of sticky rice, fruit or simple traditional snacks. Known as Binthabhat in Lao, this is a sacred religious ceremony. Tourists may participate and photograph the ceremony, however, the people of Luang Prabang, especially the monks, ask that this is done is a respectful way and visitors do everything they can not to disrupt this ancient tradition.
BinthabatBinthabat in Luang Prabang
Binthabat Binthabat

Boun Khao Padabdinh (Boat Racing festival)
Boun Khao Padabdinh is held in August or September, depending on the lunar calendar. In the morning, locals visit temples to make offerings to ancestors and perform ‘merit-making’. In the afternoon, there is boat racing on the Nam Khan River. The riverbanks are crowded and there is much revelry.
Boat Racing in Luang Prabang, LaosBoun Khao Padabdinh (Boat Racing festival)
Boun Khao Padabdinh (Boat Racing festival) Boun Khao Padabdinh (Boat Racing festival)

Boun Lay Hua Fai (end of Buddhist Lent)
This festival, held in October/November celebrates the end of Buddhist Lent. In the evening, candlelit processions travel through town and banana-leaf boats filled with colorful incense, flowers, and candles are set adrift on the Mekong.
Boun Lay Hua FaiBoun Lay Hua Fai Luang Prabang, Laos
Boun Lay Hua Fai Boun Lay Hua Fai

Kin Chiang (Hmong Festival in Luang Prabang)
In December the province’s various ethnic minorities, most notably the Hmong, celebrate the past year’s harvest and new lunar New Year with weeklong festivals that feature music, dancing and special foods. This is an excellent time to see traditional dress, festive textiles, silver jewelry and traditional musical instruments.
Hmong in Luang Prabang, LaosHmong Festival in Luang Prabang, Laos
Kin Chiang ( Hmong Festival ) Kin Chiang ( Hmong Festival )

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