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EVENTS & FESTIVALS IN KHAMMOUANE
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 Khammouane 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.


Main Event Schedule
Sikhottabong Festival
"Boun Pi Mai" Lao's New Year 
Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Boun Suang Heua (Boat Racing Festival)
Boun Kong Khao, or Boun Khai Patou Lau (opening of the rice store)
February
on 13-15 April
May
September-October
November

Sikhottabong Festival
During the full moon in February (or the third lunar month of the Lao calendar) the spectacular Sikhottabong festival is celebrated over severaldays. This is a special time to pay homage to one of the most sacred Buddhist stupas in the region.
 
"Boun Pi Mai" Lao's New Year
Pi Mai Lao, celebrated during the week of 13-15 April features the Nang Sangkhan Parade and many days of festive water splashing and house-warming parties.


Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Villagers make rockets from bamboo and homemade gunpowder, dress decadently and parade their rockets noisily around the village begore competing with each other to “unleash the monsoon rains” by blasting their rockets into the sky. This festival often occurs in May before preparing the rice fields for the new growing season.

Boun Suang Heua (Boat Racing Festival)
This colorful event usually occurring in October is one of the first festivals after the end of Buddhist Lent (Ok Phansaa) and is the exciting start of the festival season. In Thakhaek, the boat racing festival is a major event and very colorful and competitive. Boat races are held on the Mekong River with teams from Thailand and other Lao provinces competing every year.


Boun Kong Khao or Boun Khai Patou Lau (Opening of the Rice Store)
This celebration usually happens after harvest in November, although some villages store newly harvested rice until February and then celebrate. In this festival various households host a progressive dinner with eating, drinking and much loud music and dancing.

 
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