Lao’s “Pi Mai Lao”
During the 14th to 16th of April every year, many activities during this event are similar to those of the Thai Lanna tradition, which covers the cleaning of homes, “Bai Sri Su Kwan” (the Thai threading ceremony) for blessings, and a bathing ritual for Buddha statues. Pi Mai Lao is divided into three days. On the first day known as “Wan Sang Khan Luang”, people clean their houses as a means to chase away bad energy and prepare for new things. The second day or “Wan Nao” is considered the family day in which relatives gather to perform the Bai Sri Su Kwan ceremony for elderly relatives. The last day or “Wan Sang Khan Khuen” is the true New Year’s Day with blessings and bathing rituals for the Buddha statue. The beauty pageant of “Nang Sang Khan” or Lao’s Miss Songkran also takes place at the grounds of the Great Stupa.
Pi Mai Lao’s Water Festival is well known among tourists who flock to the country to participate in water fights that take place in many towns in Laos, especially at the UNESCO world heritage site of Luang Prabang where the whole town erupts in joyous celebration. During these last few years, the town has been hosting fun events along the roadside, with temple fairs and markets, selling charming handicrafts and bites of traditional Lao cuisine.