List of events and festivals in 2011 in Laos

Discussion in 'Laos - General Discussion Forum' started by Auke, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Planning on going to Laos this year? Here is the list of events and festivals which will be held in 2011 in Laos (excluding local events, etc.).

    February 18: Boun Makhabusa Festival / Festival Celebrating the Teaching of the Buddha

    February 18: Vat Phou Festival in Champasack Province
    February 18: Phathat Sikhottabong Festival in Khammouane Province

    April 14: Lao New Year

    April 15: Lao New Year
    April 16: Lao New Year

    May 17: Boun Visakhabusa Festival / Festival Celebrating the Birth, Death, and Attainment of the Buddha.


    July 15: Boun Khaophansa Festival / Beginning of Buddhist Lent Festival


    August 28: Boun Khao Padabdin Festival / Rice Growing Festival


    September 12: Boun Ho Khaosalak Festival / Ancestor Festival


    October 12: Boun Okphansa Festival / End of Buddist Lent Festival

    October 13: Boat Racing Festival at Mekong River, Vientiane Capital

    November 10: That Luang Festival, Vientiane Capital


    The first major event is on 18 February which is Makha Bucha Day but, as this is a very important event in Laos at all three places, it can be very busy.


    While on a trip to Khone Phapeang WF and Phou Asa with my son we decided that in the late afternoon we could take in also Wat Pou as the light would be good to take pictures. Unfortunately, we did not realize that it was Makha Bucha.

    Arriving at the ferry crossing to Champasack we got the first hint that something was going on with 5-6 ferries busy going back and forth to the other side all loaded with cars and buses.

    [​IMG]

    Parking was difficult as there were literally hundred of cars, motorbikes, trucks and buses all loaded with people which all were walking towards Wat Pou.

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    People on their way from the parking place to Wat Pou

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    Most of the people were making offerings before climbing all the stairs to the rock face with the shrine of Wat Pou

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    On our way back.

    [​IMG]

    Still lots of people on their way to Wat Phou with two ferries waiting for their turn to unload.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    January 1: International New Year Day
    January 20: National Military Day

    February 3: Chinese New Year
    February 4: Tai Dam Festival in Luang Nam Tha
    February 18: That Phoum Pouk Festival at the Phoum Pouk Pagoda which is 6 km west of the airport in Luang Nam Tha (N20 58.303 E101 22.828)
    February 18: Boun Makhabusa Festival / Festival Celebrating the Teaching of the Buddha
    February 18: Vat Phou Festival in Champasack Province
    February 18: Phathat Sikhottabong Festival in Khammouane Province

    February 18-20: Elephant Festival in Paklay, Xayaboury (http://www.elefantasia.org/?lang=en)

    March 8: International Women’s Day
    March 22: Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Day
    April 14: Lao New Year
    April 15: Lao New Year
    April 16: Lao New Year
    May 1: International Labour Day
    May 17: Boun Visakhabusa Festival / Festival Celebrating the Birth, Death, and Attainment of the Buddha.
    June 1: International Children’s Day and National Tree Planting Day
    July 13 Former President Souphanouvong’s Birthday
    July 15: Boun Khaophansa Festival / Beginning of Buddhist Lent Festival
    August 13: National Mass Media Day
    August 15: National Constitution Day
    August 23: Liberation Day
    August 28: Boun Khao Padabdin Festival / Rice Growing Festival
    September 12: Boun Ho Khaosalak Festival / Ancestor Festival
    October 7: National Teacher’s Day
    October 12: Independence Day
    October 12: Boun Okphansa Festival / End of Buddist Lent Festival
    October 13: Boat Racing Festival at Mekong River, Vientiane Capital
    November 10: That Luang Festival, Vientiane Capital
    December 2: Lao National Day
    December 13: President Kaysone Phomvihane’s Birthday

    In addition to these national events there are also quite a few other events like the Rocket festivals at several places, boat races in Luang Prabang and Khammouane, Hmong New Year, etc.
     
  4. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Ron,

    Yes, it is the Lao Songkran and even "worse" than here in Chiangmai although they normally limit the water throwing to the three days.
     
  5. hsracer 369

    hsracer 369 Member

    And don't forget the Elephant Festival in Xayabury Province, Hongsa.

    February 15-20th but the weekend, 18-19 is when it gets really crazy!!!!!

    So many people show up, the whole of the villages open up to home stay. They check you in at a central location, you are assigned a family, and then you are escorted to your selected house with a local villager.

    This is a very big festival with a lot of the $$$$$ generated going right into the pockets of the villagers and people who need it most. And the elephants see a bit of that too of course!!!

    If you haven't booked already, don't expect a hotel or GH!!!!!!!

    All the best!

    E

    A must see if you are in the area. A festival like no other in Laos.
     
  6. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    OK, I have put it in the list. Please note that the Elephant Festival this year will be held in Paklay (Parklay), Xayaboury province and not in Hongsa - see http://www.elefantasia.org/?lang=en and http://www.laoelephantfestival.com/ for more information.

    Parklay is located about 60 km north from the International Border Crossing Tha Li - Nam Hueng (N17 41.478 E101 23.70) north-west of Loei. The road is part asphalt and part dirt and it takes about 2 hours to reach Paklay once you have crossed the border.
     
  7. hsracer 369

    hsracer 369 Member

    DOOOOH! I would have felt a right Dip $hit showing up in Hongsa again...Probably would have heard by then, but thanks for that info, Auke.

    Pak Ley it is. See you there!!!!!

    Also, for those coming from the Hoeuy Xai crossing, there is a great and wildly scenic route from there that spits out 4KM North of Pak Ley. It is on the GT map and a total blast. 3 hours if you haul solo, but not worth the rush. I prefer about 4 hours on a CRM, plan on at least 5 for anything bigger or groups. Too much to see along the way. Can be done on the big tourers Ok, but a street bike won't cut it. Too gravely IMHO.

    Enjoy!!!
     
  8. Jade64

    Jade64 Active Member

    February
    • Chinese New Year
    • That Phoum Pouk Festival in Namtha District
    • Tai Dam Festival

    ok, chinese new year is 3.february. maybe important in northern Laos.

    Does anybody know the exact dates of the other two?? Both supposed to happen in Luang Namtha, or around.

    Johannes
     
  9. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Here are the Luang Nam Tha specific festivals - sorry the source (http://www.luangnamtha-tourism.org/web_v_3/fstival_event/festival_event_1.htm) does not give dates so it is best to contact them at coo_vath@hotmail.com or 020-2390197 (this is the webmaster who is also the owner of the PhoiIU gusthouse in Muang Sing or at:
    Luang Namhta Tourist Information
    Tel: +00856-86-211 976
    Mobile:+00856-20-2443961, Mr Lintone (English)
    Fax:+00856-86-312 047
    E-mail: luangnamtha@hotmail.com
    www.luang-namtha.org
     
  10. Jade64

    Jade64 Active Member

    I mailed to Laos, and finally got an answer.

    the Tai Dam festival is held on 4th february.
    I think that must be connected to the chinese New Year.

    and the Phoum Phouk festival is on 18th february at the Phoum Phouk pagoda. It is located 6km from Luang Namtha airport.
    But I suppose, this is just a smaller event.
     
  11. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Was going to add these dates for the Tai Dam and the Poum Pouk festival in the list of events but it appears that I can no longer edit my own posts and for that reason won't be able to update the list.

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    I guess that the Poum Pouk festival will not be small as both the Vat Phou Festival in Champasack Province and the Phathat Sikhottabong Festival in Khammouane Province are huge events - all will be held on the same day and are related to Makha Bucha
     

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