Pimai Festival (Laos New Year) - 14th to 16th
This is the New Year Festival held in mid April and lasting 3 days. Held before the onset of the rainy season, it recognizes the importance of water in people’s lives. It’s also a purification festival during which Buddha images in the household and temples are ritually cleaned with sacred water. Water from the cleaning ceremonies is then splashed around onto other people to clean them and bring them luck for the coming year.
The Boat Racing Festival - 3rd and 4th
Locally the festival is called “Boun Suang Hua” or “Boun Duan Kaow” in Luang Prabang. On the pre-event’s day (3rd) called “Talad Nad” on the street from the Post Office to the Old Stadium. The road is crowded with people coming from all over Luang Prabang and other provinces. On the next day in the early morning there is, as usual, an alms giving procession where more than two hundreds monks and novices pass the main street to collect alms.
People of Luang Prabang go to the temples after the alms giving to send their prayers. Ladies wear their most beautiful local silk skirts “Pha Sin” and it is one of the most important social get-togethers during the year. From 10.00am, people go to the Nam Khan Street next to the Nam Kahn”Kahn River”. In the afternoon, the main event is held on the Nam Khan River. The boat racing starts at lunch time and ends in the afternoon along the Nam Khan River with the award presentation ceremony under the watch of the provincial dignitaries.
Boun Ok Phansa - 8th of Oct. 2015
This is a full moon ceremony ending the rainy season of monastic seclusion (lent). Monks who were ordained during this period leave the Vat and rejoin their families. The festival also involves launching candle-lit offerings on the river at night.
Boun Lai Heua Fai ( Fireboat Procession) - 8th of Oct. 2015
This is a festival to ask the naga (water spirits) to bring good luck. Each village makes and decorates a boat which are then paraded through town and at night launched onto the river and ceremonially set on fire as offerings to the spirits. Flowers are also scattered onto the river to prevent bad luck and thank the water spirits.
Hmong New year
The Hmong New Year celebration features colorful displays of traditional costumes made from green, red and white silk and ornate silver jewelry. Music from traditional Hmong instruments such as the teun-flute, Hmong-style khene pipe and leave blowing is enjoyed. Other festivities include the Makkhon (cotton-ball) throwing ceremony, ox fighting, spinning-top races and crossbow demonstrations.
Luang Prabang Film Festival
The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an annual celebration of filmmaking in Southeast Asia that aims to educate Lao people about film as a means of cultural expression and communication, and to support a nascent local industry and art form. Since 2010, the LPFF has supported and engaged local filmmakers seeking to develop the domestic industry and encouraged Southeast Asian filmmakers to contribute to an exchange between regional film industries.