Home >> Salavanh >> EVENT & FESTIVALS
Rituals and festivals, whether they occur once a day or once a year, convey the spirit and essence of a culture, identifying what is unique to a locality. In Luang Prabang, the ritual cycle is dominated by Thervada Buddhist customs and traditions, integrated with tributes paid  to the animistic spirits (Phi) of the land and water. Because it is the traditional center of the region in Laos and the seat of the former royal family, annual festival (“Boun”) are often organized on a grand scale in Luang Prabang. Festivals are governed by different phase of the moon, but in general are held in the same month each year, as outline in the box below: 

Main Event Schedule
Pay respect to footprints of the Buddha
Festival of year Pha Keo Nam Yard worship 
Khen dancing festival of Nge ethic 
Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year)
The Rocket Festivals
Boun Ok Phansa (End of Buddhist Lent)
Boun Suang Heua (Boat Racing Festival)
Kin Nga Festival of Ta­­-Ouy Ethic
The Baci Ceremony
Boun Lapeup Ceremony

Boun maka bousa
Boun khao chi
Boun visakha bousa
Boun phavet
Boun khao pansa
Boun khao pa dap din
Middle of Fubruary - March
Middle of March - Milddle of April
On 14th -16th April
Middle of April - End of May
27 October
27-28 October

According to the ancient believe, long time ago there was a group of hunter; they run after seriously injured deer when a wounded deer disappeared into a hollow and then emerged miraculously healed. The hunter pushed aside the bushes to discover a foot-shaped, which immediately went back to the village and told the people. All people are surpriseand understand that, this is the footprints of the Buddha. It is possible that one time he came to touch this area. As we understand, not only in Lao to venerated the footprint of the Buddha, but all Buddhist countries. These highly schematized footprints generally show all the toes to be of equal length, and are incised in stone. They often bear distinguishing marks - either a Dharma wheel or cakra at the Centre of the sole distinctive signs of the Buddha, engraved or painted on the sole and inscribed in a sort of checkerboard pattern. Pay respect to footprints of the Buddha in Nado  Village is organized every year, at the end of February. There are many activities to do such as offering food to the monastic, making merit and seeing the way of people life here that is different from other tradition.


In March, we also held Koaw Jee festival. Besides, it has festival celebrating the teachings of the Buddha (Ma Kha Bou Xa festival) that is the most one important because the day related of Buddha and relationship. Determining in March for following Buddha doctrine, concern in Ma Kha Bou Xa day’s name festival celebrating the teachings of the Buddha (Ma Kha Bou Xa festival) or made merit (Het Boun). This festival held in order to recall the put body day’s Buddha and Pha Keo Nam Yard festival worship was held each year for recalling about Pha Keo that people believe in Buddha image, also the oldest age respectable of people’s Salavanh province including general Buddhist. Vapi district’s people set up this festival started early 12 dark (Kham) includes faith from other villages. To prepare the meal, set up the committee to responsible and other sections. Since early 13 dark started to hold procession ceremony from feet of Pha Keo Mountain come to temple (Wat), has rice roasting to give offerings to Buddhist monk, worshipping reproduce the Pha Keo that feudal Thai took a way in 1714, worship Pharn Theuk picture, Pharn Theug, elephant picture, tiger picture and other. The fulfilling one’s vow is really blessed for good life, good health, good luck, and successful with the work forever; the activities have Lao’s traditional dramatic performance, Lam Vong, and other trade fair of local people.


Every year, at the end of the crop (year-end), ethic minorities organize the greatest festival of the year to offer sacrifice gods and genies to express their gratitude to the gods who have provided the villagers and tribes with a prosperous year with many lucks and a good crop. This festival is name Khe dancing or buffalo eating Festival and commonly called Buffalo Stabbing Festival. Khe dancing festival of Nge ethicis one of the traditional activities of Nge ethic group in Khiengtangleavillage, Lao ngam district. Many people around near villages to participate the festival together in this event.

The first thing to do is putting a tree called ‘LakKhoun’ in front of spirit house called ‘HorKaun’ which indicates their desires for wellness and happiness indispensable in this festival. The LakKhoun is made from bamboo with a wooden phoenix sticked on the top. The trunk of LakKhoun tree must be decorated all of pictures including beehive, swift, people and tintinnabulation. When the dawn appears, it’s high time for people call ‘God’ and cry for the buffalo which will be kills. Then, the magician puts a copper pot in front of the house, standstill it and worships. When the sun rises, people bring a small wine jar and a killed chicken to worships the buffalo. Then, the well-built young men of the village take turns stabbing the buffalo with sharp-head spears in their hands until the animal die.

Buffalo’s blood is applied on participants’ foreheads to wish for luck and happiness. Buffalo meat will be broiled over hot coal. The broiled meat is served at the site and the rest of meat is distributed equally to the families in the village.


Celebrated over three days in mid-April, and with plenty of festive water splashing, Salavanh’s Lao New Year has its own distinct flair. Some families hold baci ceremonies and construct large arches from rice plants to show respect to the earth, sky, and land spirits, who they believe assist in bringing a good rice harvest during the coming year. They also politely splash fragrant water on others to wash away bad fortune. Salavanh District and the Tad Lo area hold the largest celebrations, with thousands of people from southern Laos and even Thailand coming to make merit. Locals build and decorate small structures, and the faithful pour water on Buddha images at nine temples, which they believe will bring them good luck.


un Bang Fai, or the rocket festival, is a merit-making ceremony traditionally practiced by ethnic Lao people throughout Laos, in numerous villages and municipalities near the beginning of the rainy season. Celebrations typically include preliminary music and dance performances, competitive processions of floats, dancers and musicians of folk style. The Rocket festival in Sapat Village, usually hold on Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year) every year. After 14 th - 15th, the village will hold their rockets to celebrate for asking for the water from raining to begin their farming. The rockets will be hold by each group of people in the village behalf that ready to take the rocket to shoot together.


Generally taking place in October, this two-day festival celebrates the end of the three-month Buddhist lent. Locals make merit in the morning by gathering at temples and giving alms to the monks in return for blessings. The people later play music and perform traditional dances like “Lamvong Salavanh”, and in the evening they gather at temples and follow monks in a three-lap parade with candles around the temples. At the parade’s conclusion, groups place lay huapi (longboats made with bamboo and banana trees) decorated with flowers, colored candles, cakes and other foods in the rivers, while individuals set much smaller but similar kathong afloat to wish for a brighter future and cast off bad luck


Usually coinciding Boun Ok Phansaa during October’s full moon, several Salavanh Districts hold their annual longboat competitions among villages at different times. However, most take place on the Xe Don River to make merit to the waterway that supports many locals’ lives. Salavanh District holds its event over five days in early September, and villages from throughout the province come to compete, with only the winners advancing to the next day. Vapy District’s races come several weeks later, and Khongxedon District’s competition follows shortly after.


As you know, Ta-Ouy Ethic traditionally locates their villages on the high of land, although today most Ta-Ouy Ethnic communities are situated at lower altitudes. These ethnic minorities are still protected and preserved their original tradition. Ta-Ouy Ethnic people are known for their knowledge of the forest, proficiency as hunters, ability to prepare herbal medicines, and they are satisfy and happy with their lives in countryside and also they speaking ethnic group.They have traditions and festivals are different from other groups. It is known as Kin Nha Festival which is very big and important event for them.  Kin Nha Festival usually hold on November every year. After starting of November, many villages will hold their Kin Nga Festival to celebrate for show gratitude to ancestor sand to show the success in their harvest.


Lao villagers perform this ritual to welcome visitors or send them off, and during weddings. This sacred ceremony, in which blessings are symbolically tied to one’s wrist with strings, is also a reconciliation gesture, and the faithful believe it can help cure many illnesses.



This traditional ceremony for deceased ethnic Katang (Toumlan District) and Ngae (Lao Ngarm District) is organized by the family at a time considered appropriate and economically feasible. During this ritual, villagers play drums and dance around ceremonial structures before sacrificing buffaloes to guide their forefathers’ spirits in joining the spirit protecting their house.


This festival is held on the full moon to commemorate the speech given by the Lord Buddha to 1,250 enlightened monks that gathered spontaneously, without prior notice. In the evening, the faithful visit local temples and circumambulate the Vat three times with candles in a ceremony known as Vien Tian.


A ceremony is held at the "Wat" (temple) in the morning, when a special "bread made of sticky rice" is offered. This festival is held during the third full moon of the lunar calendar.


The Vixakha Bouxa festival (also written Visakha Bouça) commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, which are all said to have happened on the same date. It is held around the month of May or Vesak, based on the lunar calendar (celebration on the 15th day of the waxing moon of the 6th month).

One part of the Vixakha Bouxa festival is called Boun Bang Fay, or Rocket Festival. As this is during the hottest and driest season of the year, large homemade rockets are launched into the sky in an attempt to convince the celestial beings to send down rain. This rockets are made with 6 to 24kg of gunpowder, and can reach several hundred meters. Villages and villagers are competiting each other, the chief head of the village "responsible" for the defeat in case of the rocket doesn’t work well...


Boun Phravet is an annual tradition festival.  It is usually performed in the 4th month of Buddhist calendar.  Due to the socio-economics lives of the Lao people, some villages organize it prior to the 4th month or later regarding to the proper time.

A ceremony of offering donations to have one's future read from a piece of paper drawn, during the three day-three night festival


This festival, held on the full moon, marks the beginning of Buddhist lent, a three month period where monks are required to stay within their Vat (Temple) to meditate and focus on drama studies. Lao men are traditionally ordained as monks during this time.


Boun Khao Padap Din starting in the middle of the rainy season. Khao Padabdin festival is held in commemoration of dead ancestors. Over 2 days Buddhist devotees flock to the wats carrying silver trays of offerings for monks and deceased ancestors. Music is traditionally performed in the grounds of the wat while people make their donations.

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