Home >> Phongsaly >> EVENT & FESTIVALS
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 Phongsaly 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
Khmu New Year (Boun Greu)
Hor New Year (Kin Jieng)
The Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao)
Boat Racing Festival (Boun Suang Heua) 

The Khmu people celebrate their NEW YEAR (BOUN GREU) in January, each village at a different date. In Phongsaly town, festivities are organized every three years only (next time should normally be in 2015).

Phongsaly town resonates with the sound of firecrackers. This is also the only time the Hor temple opens during the year. In the villages, Tai Yang and Tai Deng people celebrate their own New Year simultaneously (February, same date as the Chinese New Year).

The Lao New Year (Pi Mai Lao) 
Celebrated by Lao and Phunoy people in mid-April (during the full moon). It is also known as the “water festival”… so be prepared to get wet! It actually allows you to let all the bad things from last year behind you and give you good luck to enter the new year. Apart from going to the temples and making offerings to their ancestors, people gather for the rocket festival, where different villages compete for the highest launching (often self-made) rocket. And many go up the hill for the Phou Fa Stupa Ceremony to make offerings to the Buddha and the spirits of the forest.

Muang Khua Boat Racing is the biggest and the most significant boat racing festival in Phongsaly Province, on Nam Ou Rier. Boat Racing festival is held every year, start from the 15th day in the 11th month in lunar calendar. The actual race is held on the 16th day, with heats starting early in the morning. Over 10 boats for the race on the Nam Ou river. The entrants come from many village around Muang Khua district to complete in the significant festival.
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