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Luang Prabang Festivals & Events

Luang Prabang, Laos offers visitors a rich array of events and festivals throughout the year that highlight its unique cultural identity and history. HotelTravel.com highlights the key events and festivals in Luang Prabang from month to month, providing visitors with a huge choice of possible choice to play that once in a lifetime holiday around. Each one brings to life why Luang Prabang is so representative of people from Laos. Click the events and festival links below for further information.  The main annual events in Luang Prabang are religious in nature, with the Buddhist calendar being closely followed. These religious celebrations are an excellent opportunity for visitors to witness local customs and traditions, and to learn more about Lao culture. Visitors are welcome to participate in most events, especially Pi Mai, when friendly water fights between locals and foreigners are common.

Khoun Khao: this nationwide two-day harvest festival sees locals making offerings to the spirit of the land. Appeasements are made to give thanks and ensure fruitful harvests in the future. Visitors wishing to observe the ceremonies involved in this festival should visit the city’s temples or outlying villages.

Magha Puja: this important Buddhist festival sees monks and worshippers circle the city’s temples, chant and make offerings. The day marks a sermon once given by the Buddha, which outlined monastic regulations. Celebrations are more fervent in the capital Vientiane, but can nevertheless be enjoyed in Luang Prabang.

Vietnamese Tet: celebrated mostly by those of Vietnamese or Chinese origin, this three-day New Year celebration is marked with fireworks and parties, as well as visits to temples. Traditionally the festival marks the arrival of spring and is a time to spend with family and friends.

International Women’s Day: held annually on 8th March, this day celebrates the achievements of women through cultural events, exhibitions and festivities.

Pi Mai: lasting for three days in mid-April, Lao New Year offers the perfect chance to cool down from the heat. The festival involves water throwing, signifying purification, and making offerings at temples. Tourists are welcome to join in the fun and should not be offended if a local splashes water over them. Luang Prabang also commonly has an elephant parade during Pi Mai celebrations.

Visakha Puja: also known as Visakhabuxa, this ceremonial celebration commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha. The religious ceremonies associated with this festival are best seen at the city’s temples.

Bang Fai: also sometimes referred to as the Rocket Festival, this two-day religious event marks the start of the agricultural season. Highlights are the firing of decorated bamboo rockets into the sky, followed by musical performances and dancing. It is thought the firing of rockets acts as a reminder to the gods to start the rains, which water the rice fields.

Khao Phansaa: the start of Buddhist lent marks the beginning of the rainy season and a three-month period when monks must stay in their temples. At other times of the year, monks are allowed to travel between temples. During Buddhist lent they must stay at a single temple, partly to prevent any damage to the rice field during the wet season.

International Children’s Day: celebrated on 1 June with activities devoted to the welfare of children. The day is commonly marked with games, music and dramatic performances organised by local and international organisations.

Khao Padab Din: sees worshippers make offerings to the deceased. Monks are given gratuities for chanting on behalf of the dead. Considered sombre by some outsiders, paying respect to dead ancestors is an important aspect of religion in Laos.

Constitution Day: the adoption of the constitution in 1991 is celebrated on this national holiday.

Power Seizing Day: marks the 1975 seizure of power by the Pathet Lao, which led to the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.


Awk Pansaa: the end of Buddhist lent is celebrated in Luang Prabang with a procession to Wat Xieng Thong and the city’s ceremonial steps of the Mekong River. During the festivities, monks are commonly offered gifts such as new robes. At night, locals congregate at the river to set afloat small boats made from banana leaves.

Boun Nam: held at the same time as Awk Pansaa, Boun Nam sees boat races held along the Mekong River. The locals take these races seriously, so expect to see some competitive teams on the water.

National Teacher’s Day: is celebrated on 7th October in commemoration of Lao teacher Khu Kham, who is celebrated for his dedication to teaching. The date of the festival marks the day when Kham was registered as a teacher in 1907. The nationwide school holiday gives children a chance to prepare gifts for their respective teachers in gratitude of their dedication.

That Luang: the biggest celebrations of this Buddhist event are held in Vientiane, centred on That stupa. In Luang Prabang, the festival is marked with religious ceremonies such as blessings and processions, and many hill tribe people can be seen participating.

Laos National Day: commemorates the abdication of King Savang Vatthana and the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975. Held on 2nd December, visitors can expect to see national flags flown across the city. Speeches and military parades are also typically held on this day.

Pha Wet: during this three-day festival, King Vessanthara's reincarnation as the Buddha is recounted and celebrated. Mostly a temple-centred event, outlying villages typically do not celebrate the festival on the same day, so as to be able to invite one another to their respective celebrations.

That Luang: the biggest celebrations of this Buddhist event are held in Vientiane, centred on That stupa. In Luang Prabang, the festival is marked with religious ceremonies such as blessings and processions, and many hill tribe people can be seen participating.

Laos National Day: commemorates the abdication of King Savang Vatthana and the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975. Held on 2nd December, visitors can expect to see national flags flown across the city. Speeches and military parades are also typically held on this day.

Pha Wet: during this three-day festival, King Vessanthara's reincarnation as the Buddha is recounted and celebrated. Mostly a temple-centred event, outlying villages typically do not celebrate the festival on the same day, so as to be able to invite one another to their respective celebrations.