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Almost every month of the year there is either a local festival or celebration in Laos. The word for festival in Lao is boun, which also means doing good things in order to gain merit for subsequent lives. If you are in Oudomxay while any of the festivals are taking place you will surely be welcomed and asked to join the fun. Please feel free to participate, however remember that most of the festivals are based on religious beliefs, so your hosts will appreciate it if you respect local codes of behavior.

Khmu Festival
Hmong New Year
Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year)

Rocket Festival (Boun Bang Fai)
Boat Racing Festival (Boun Suang Heua)
January - February

Khmu people in Oudomxay are in Muang Xay, Muang La, Muang Hoon, Muang Beng, Muang Pakbeng and Meuang Namor District. The festival is in January - February. The festival is celebrated after the rice harvest season, "Teck Neum Festival", and the  main purpose of the celebration is to thank the sipirit of the land and to ensure the  standard of living, better life and good yield for the next harvest season.

Hmong people in Oudomxay are in Meuang Xay, Meuang Namor , Meuang Hoon, Meuang Beng and Meuang Pakbeng District. Hmong new year is in mid December. The festival celebration is just after the agriculture "rice, corn, ect..." is ready for the harvest season. The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the new year and for all the successful outcomes that the Hmong people have done for the year and to ensure the living standard. Activities include playing games between men and women by throwing a small ball to each other, Hmong Khaen blowing plus dancing, flute playing, Hmong traditional singing.

This is the biggest festival of the year all around the country. It is partly a religious festival as it is the time Buddha images are cleansed, but is it also an all-out water festival. For three days be prepared to get wet wherever you go as water is thrown on everyone. In Oudomxay  there are traditional processions and many other events.

Boun Bang Fai is  the rocket festival, held at the beginning of the rainy season. The festival is a call for rain and a celebration of fertility. In the morning a religious ceremony is performed. In the afternoon, people gather in the fields on the outskirts of villages and towns to launch self-made firework rockets. Different communities compete for the best decorated and the highest travelling rocket. Men disguised as women perform vaudeville acts using wooden phalli in order to anger the gods. As revenge, the gods are expected to send thunderstorms. Beginning around the middle of May, the rocket festivals are staggered from place to place to enable greater participation and attendance.

The Boat Racing festival,  or in Lao called Boun Suang Heua, is in Mueng La and Pakbeng District. It is an important part of the traditional agricutural cycle. The festival is a tribute to the Naga (mythical snake) with the intention of attractiing the Naga from the inundated rice field into the river . This festival also commenmorates the end of the rainning season and brings luck for an abundant harvest.

EVENTS: International New Year's Day  International Children's Day  National Tree Planting Day  Luang Prabang Half Marathon  Laos Handicraft Festival  Lao National Day  Luang Prabang Film Festival  

Wat Phou Festival  Sikhottabong Festival  The Elephant Festival  Boun Khao Chi  Makhaboucha  Boun Khoun Khao  Boun Khoun Lan  Rice Ceremony  Boun Phavet  Boun Pi Mai Lao  Lao New Year  Boun Bang Fai  Rocket Festival  Boun Visakhaboucha  Asalahaboucha Day  Boun Khao Phansa  Buddhist Lent  Boun Khao Padabdin  Rice Growing Festival  Boun Khao Salak  Naga Rocket  Boun Ok Phansa  End of Buddhist Lent  Lhai Heua Fai  That Luang Festival  Hmong New Year   That Inghang Festival


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