Laos is a fascinating, characterful travel destination. It may not be so diverse like Thailand but full of seduction for nature lovers. Apart from the rich fauna and flora, Laos also has a wide range of festivals to offer its visitors.
Here are some of the most amazing Laos Festivals you should participate in Laos
That Luang Festival
That Luang Festival is probably one of the most impressive events in the capital of Laos. It’s celebrated at the end of November in a place known as “That Luang”.
This huge golden temple is not only known for this annual festival but also acts as the national symbol for Laos as a country.
Religious part of the festival includes a pilgrimage to the stupa made by the monks and lay Buddhists from different parts of the country. The celebrations usually include trade shows, fireworks, parades, exciting parties.
Related Article: Top Laos Travel Experiences
Khum New Year Festival
In our list of best Laos Festivals, the Khum New Year in Oudomxay province is a must. It often starts from 30th December to 1st January.
The main theme to the celebrations dedicates to give thanks to ancestors and playing for further peace in the New Year. Locals and visitors usually celebrate with brilliant traditional dresses, singing, dancing as well ethnic games. A trek in the area could be one of the most precious Laos experiences.
City Pillar Festival
Be immersed into Laos’ culture with a day spent in this festival, it’s recorded with over 150 recognized ethnicities. Therefore, the festival shows the uniqueness of each group.
Usually ten ethic groups in Xekong province host the festival in Mayhuameuang village for a period of three days starting from 1st January up to 3rd. The festival usually include traditional performances like singing, dancing also banana leaf stupa parade.
Phonsan Stupa Festival
This is another annual festival which takes place at the end of January in the Borikhamxay province. The festival is mainly to celebrate this 1000 year old stupa which was named a cultural heritage site in the province in the year 2016.
Several people usually gather in the place for praying sessions and seeing the Buddha’s footprints. It also offers a great experience of meeting with the locals.
Kapok Flower Festival
It’s also known as Dok Ngiew, this is another annual event to attend while Laos. The usual place for this festival is Don Sao Island, Ton peung district in Bokeo province.
Thousands of people attend Kapok flower festival which takes place in February or March when the Kapok trees boom. Visitors will love this charming Laos festival as it features several exhibitions then ending by dancing competitions.
Sikhot Stupa Festival
The entincing festival is usually held in Khammuane province after the full moon of the third lunar month. This temple was renovated by Lao Buddhist in 1945 after Laos declared itself as independent from France.
The surrounding town and stupa are decorated with ribbons, sparkling lights which see awe inspiring to most of the visitors. Night market around includes several food stalls selling different local cuisine and some shops for buying souvenirs.
Hmong New Year Celebrations
This is another awe inspiring festival held for the New Year in Laos. The third largest ethnic group in Laos “Hmong people” host big celebrations every year in several provinces like Xaysomboun, Vientiane and Xieng Khuang.
Usually courting rituals occur during the festival between the young men and women in the form of ball tossing game and singing of several courting songs.
Inhang Stupa Festival
That Inhang stupa locates in the Savannakhet province. A festival takes place in this place to honor a sermon Buddha delivered from here. The festival usually include traditional dances, rides, food stalls and souvenirs to buy if you are interested.
Other Suggestion for a Laos Travel
Beside immersing in Laos Festivals, the country has countless thing to make your days occupied. From waterfall hopping to caving adventures, you`ll have chance to soak up one of the most striking landscapes in Asia
For those interested in cool relaxing excitements, Laos should be your first go with its several thundering cascading waterfalls. Some of the live examples include Khone Phapheng near 4000 islands, aquamarine Kuang Si falls in Luang Prabang
Several activities often featured including hiking through the jungles, swimming in the basins and basking in their natural beauty.
Be thrilled with the boat racing competitions arranged during the celebration of Boun Ok Phansa festival in several provinces. This festival comes every year as the mark of Buddhist lent ( last day ) which happens every autumn in the middle of 11th lunar month.
Several teams compete in the boat races which are arranged in several provinces including Savanakhet, Salavan province, Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Water Tubing in Vang Vieng
One of the most famous tubing hot spots in Laos is Nam Song in Vang Vieng. Tractor tire inner tubes are often available for rent and lazily float down the river as you get exposed to the beautiful limestone mountains and lush green vegetation.
After this activity relax just at the riverside bars for some beers, dancing, volley ball and interact with fellow tubers.
Laos features some of the most impressive caves in Asia. These caves are true delights to visitors of different interests. Whereby some act as tourist attractions visited on daily basis with restaurants and bamboo bungalows to eat and rest. Some are filled with water and others serve as pilgrimage locations filled with Buddhist statues.
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Soak Up Laos`s nature
Although Laos’ Wilderness is hindered by some unfavorable factors like poaching, mining and damming of rivers. Some untainted areas still exist providing good habitat to diverse range of species including Elephants, tigers, birds and more.
Bokeo in the northern mountains is home to gibbons and Mekong River is known for the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.
Because of this Laos receives a huge percentage of Wildlife lovers from different parts of the World.
Visit Laos Temples
Laos is one of the top Buddhist nations in Asia featuring several awe inspiring temples particularly if you are in love with art. If you are after the ornate temples, Luang Prabang the former royal capital is the best spot to go.
Check out for Vientiane if you are more interested in Historic temples like Wat Si Saket, That Luang and more. Several visitors usually appear in the middle of the third lunar month because of the ancient Khmer temple defined uniquely by its traditional dances, music and sporting events.
Sample Laos Foods
If you are after the idea of culinary adventure, then taste on the delicious Lao food for a better local experience.
Some of the must try include sticky rice served in bamboo baskets with grilled fish, spicy jeow, bamboo soup or fried morning glory. Take it cool with delightful tropical fruits, fried rice and noodle soups.