Discovery >

Lao Festivals of Sticky Rice and Long Boats

April 3, 2014 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: ,


Luang Prabang, the largest city in Northern Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage site, celebrates two significant festivals during the three months of Buddhist Lent (usually from July to September depending on the lunar calendar). The spiritual ceremony of Boun Khao Padap Dinh or Ancestor’s Day is held at every temple to honor the deceased. Lao people go to the temple to offer morning alms to the monks and novices and listen to sermons. The ceremonial offering is the Lao diet staple, sticky rice. Boun Khao Padap Dinh literal translates to mean “festival of rice packets decorating the earth.” The act of placing sticky rice in the monk’s bowls and distributing small packets of sticky rice around the house or at the temple honors the dead by transmitting the blessings of this meritorious act to the ancestors.


Buddhist Lent also coincides with the cool, rainy season and the time for the Boun Souang Heua or Boat Racing Festival. This colorful and much anticipated event is held on different weekends all over the country. The festival date in Luang Prabang falls exactly at the midpoint of Buddhist Lent. Located on the Nam Khan River, which joins the Mekong River at the Old Town of Luang Prabang, each temple or nearby village is represented by a long, wooden boat. Each boat holds 30 to 50 traditionally costumed, determined rowers either sitting in the front to shout the pace, in the middle to paddle, or in the back to steer. With an audience of mostly local people, it is an amazing spectacle to witness. Traditionally the race is held when the river is at its highest level and fiercest current. The long boats represent the mythical Naga serpent and the race is intended to give thanks to the spirit of the mountains for the water it has brought farmers to nourish the rice fields.

For more information on festival dates and itinerary suggestions to attend the festivals, please contact [email protected].

 

Latest post

Safari Time Vietnam

Take a trek or night safari in Cat Tien National Park near Ho Chi Minh City to see Vietnamese wildlife like deer, reptiles and birds. One of the largest national parks, it is recognized by WWF for its tropical rainforest and large variety of animals.

Read More

Tet Flower Power

As a tradition, Ho Chi Minh City always decorates main streets in down town to welcome Lunar New Year – the Tet Festival. The streets decorated are Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, Le Loi, Le Duan Street. People are very excited to enjoy the beautiful streets every New Year.

Read More

See Angkor Wat from the Air

Down in Cambodia’s sleepy south coast, travelers can now undertake some new challenges and do rock climbing, caving and abseiling (also called rappelling). Ratanakiri offers unique jungle hikes, and back in Siem Reap the temples can be seen from a hot air balloon. Those travelers looking for action have plenty of choice in Cambodia!

Read More

The Spotlight On: Successful Sales Executive, Mr. Somphet

Every month, we put the spotlight on one of the key players who make it happen for your privileged clients. This month, get to know Somphet Successful, Sales Executive for Khiri Travel Laos, Vientiane office.

Read More

Sign Up for Our Newletter