SOME OF THE HERITAGE CEREMONIES
This is a celebration of good season of rice harvesting.The farmers prepare for the rice festive by gathering the harvested rice and put the rice into a pile.
They also make offering of the rice to the Buddha through the monks to give thanks and get good merit.
Occurs in January
Pimai Lao or Lao New Year Celebration
During the Pimai Lao, the Lao believe that the old spirit of Sangkhan leaves this plane, making way for a new one. Pimai spans over 3 days.
The first day of Boon Pimai, known as Sangkhan Luang, is considered the last day of the old year. Lao will clean their houses and villages on this day and prepare water, perfume and flowers for the days ahead.
The second day, the Sangkhan Nao or "day of no day", is neither part of the old year nor of the new year.
The third day, known as Sangkhan Kheun "Pimai" is the official start of the Lao New Year. Locals dress in their finest silk clothes and perform Tuckbah, the traditional offering of alms to Buddhist monks.
Occurs in April
Boon Thatluang Festival
The Golden Stupa or Phra Thatluang is the national symbol and most important religious monument in Laos and Vientiane’s most important Buddhist festival.
People wear their best clothes for this procession and there is also a parade of men and women dressed in various Lao ethnic costumes who dance and play traditional music and songs as they approach the stupa.
On reaching the stupa, the worshippers slowly walk around it three times in a clockwise direction, led by monks from Wat Thatluang chanting the ancient words of Buddha.
Occurs in November
Ceremony for the ancestors
Hold during the 10th full moon of the lunar calendar, this festival is a celebration and a remembrance of the dead. During this festival, the Lao make offerings to the monks at the local Wat on behalf of deceased ancestors. Participant gives "good merits" to the devotes.
Most of the people go to the temple early this day, with offering to the monks. Large food trays are brought to the monks, with several "best" dishes that families can cook.
Occurs in September
Lhai Heua Fai (Loy Krathong)
Also known as the light festival. People make Styrofoam boats, or purchase pre-made ones at the Wat. On the night of the festival, Lao and non-Lao people alike, make a wish as they launch their Heua Fai (krathongs) on the pond. It is a purification ceremony to enlighten the mind.
Occurs in October