4th Japan Festival 2018 in Laos

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We are going to have a largest scale Japan related event here in Vientiane ever, with Japanese Drum and Traditional Instruments’ Performance, Concert by Japanese and Lao singers, Japanese Foods, Character show, Cool & Kawaii JAPAN 2018 (J-POP Cover-dance Competition and Cosplay Contest), Japan Production Exhibition, Japanese and Lao Folk dance and so on!
Just join us and have much fun on 2nd, 3rd, 4th February at Lao-ITECC!!

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Vat Phou

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Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape – (extracts from UNESCO’s website). The Champasak cultural landscape, including the Vat Phou Temple complex, is a remarkably well-preserved planned landscape more than 1,000 years old. It was shaped to express the Hindu vision of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 km. Two planned cities on the banks of the Mekong River are also part of the site, as well as Phou Kao mountain. The whole represents a development ranging from the 5th to 15th centuries, mainly associated with the Khmer Empire.

Vat Phou 

Inscriptions from to the 5th and 6th centuries mention a sanctuary built on the mountain, during the same period as the foundation of the city. This sanctuary has disappeared and has been replaced by the religious complex we see today. This complex was built during the first part of the 11th century, with some additions and reconstructions from the 12th and 13th centuries. 

Built along an East-West axis, it extends over 1.4 km and climbs up the slope, starting from the plain and ending about 100m above, where the main sanctuary is situated. The main sanctuary is located on a terrace at the foot of the cliff where the sacred spring flows.

The religious complex of Vat Phou is of Khmer architecture and Hindu religion and is situated at the foot of a hill. The summit, the Phou Kao, immediately commands one’s attention because of its shape, identified in ancient times with the linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, from which originated its ancient name, Lingaparvata, and its reputation as a sacred hill.

The permanent spring, at the foot of the cliffs, is probably one of the main reasons that induced the ancient rulers of the area to establish a shivaist sanctuary at this location. Associated with this religious complex, in the plain below, on the banks of the Mekong, is a pre-angkorian city, the remains of which (large earthen enclosure walls, brick monuments) are barely visible on the ground, although they appear quite clearly on aerial pictures. 

Since 1991, excavations have been undertaken by P.R.A.L. (Projet de Recherches en Archéologie Lao) with the aim of producing a precise archaeological map.

read more http://www.vatphou-champassak.com/

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat 

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Credit: Rattanavong Lat

Vat Phou Festival 2018

29-31 January 2018

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Visit Laos Year 2018 Launched along with That Luang Festival 2017

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Visit Laos Year 2018 Launched along with That Luang Festival 2017

Create: 30/10/2017 09:25

Soukthavy Thephavong

(KPL) Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced on Saturday the launch of Visit Laos Year 2018 and annual That Luang Festival celebration in the presence of ministers, foreign diplomats, senior officials of Vientiane Capital, representatives of international organizations and Vientiane residents.

The government has set an ambitious plan to have at least 5 million foreigners visiting the country over the next twelve months and to have at least US$ 900 million generated as incomes for the country by foreign visitors.

“Over the past years, the government of Laos PDR has come to regard tourism as a priority sector for driving the socio-economic development of the country. Tourism brings spending on goods and services that can boost currency reserves and circulation of money in the country and create more job opportunities for people in service and production sectors, particularly agriculture and handicraft production,” said Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara, who also wears another had as Vice President of the National Committee for Visit Laos Year 2018.

Laos has already organized the Visit Laos Year twice – one in 1999-2000 and another one in 2011-2012 –to promote tourism industry and attract more visitors to Laos.

“The official launch sees us considering ‘Visit Laos Year 2018’ as a most important activity. The effort does not only seek to promote tourism but also aim to preserve unique culture and fine traditional culture of Laos. Also the visit Laos Year 2018 will, directly and indirectly, stimulate the country’s economic sectors, particularly tourism related businesses,” said the minister.

The Visit Laos Year 2018 will comprise activities to be organized in Laos and abroad. These will include festivals in various provinces across the country.

That Luang

“This year’s That Luang Festival is significant because we have completed the fourth restoration project of That Luang stupa as anticipated. The project comprises eight significant components. Nevertheless, the most significant one is many kilograms of gold have been placed atop the That Luang Stupa and 30 surrounding smaller spires splendidly. Also, a golden Buddha image has been moulded and resides at That Luang, serving a significant symbol for That Luang restoration project and consecration ceremony of That Luang Stupa,” said the minister.

That Luang Festival is organized each year and comprises activities. This year, due to the launch of the Visit Laos Year 2018, That Luang Festival trade fair focuses on promoting One District One Products (ODOP), products produced by model families, SME products and agriculture and handicraft products as well as the exhibition of local and foreign tourism products.

This year’s That Luang Festival trade fair is organized in two venues: Lao ITECC comprising 460 booths of local and foreign companies and That Luang Esplanade comprising 640 booths, of which three owned by foreign countries.

The festival also features the display of Lao style houses, cultural performance and activities related to worship for That Luang Stupa as well as cultural and religious affairs.

The areas surrounding That Luang Stupa and nearby areas have been arranged as a seating place for festival goers to watch wax castle processions in the north of That Luang. In addition, That Luang Esplanade and areas surrounding the stupa are well organized for people to watch Tiky (Lao hockey) and give alms to monks and carry out candlelight processions.

KPL

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Buddhist lent

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During 3 months from July to early October lunar calendar the monks stay in the temple (Wat) and practice the Buddhist 227 principal seriously (Sin 227) and it call Buddhist lent (Khao Phansa). From early October this year the Buddhist Lent has end on 5 October (Ok Phansa).

In the morning in every temples have practice arm giving ceremony, in the evening is light festival.

Naga (River Dragon) is cultural symbolic and respect of Lao peoples, we often recognise 

 for the light festival in the evening  will hold a candle with flower fos some province such as Luang Prabang, it preferred to make a a kind of a lamp and work around the temple for 3 round then leave the lamp on the floor. After that they will leave a fire boat at the river. The fire boat is made in different size from small to large. Mostly every village will make a big fire boat with full decoration.

 

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Rocket festival

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ROCKET FESTIVAL

The festival is a call for rain and  a celebration of fertility. In the afternoon, people gather in the fields on the outskirts of villages and towns to launch self-made firework rockets. Different communities compete for the best decorated and the highest travelling rocket. Men disguised as women perform vaudeville acts using wooden phalli in order to anger th gods. As revenge, the gods are expected to send thunderstorms.

What is Boun Bang Fai?

The Boun Bang Fai or Rocket Festival, marks the sixth month of the lunar calendar. During the festival, rockets are fired into the air to ask the god of rain to help nature a good harvest free from drought, floods or pests.

Traditionally, rockets are made by stuffing gunpowder into elaborately decorated bamboo. But today, many different materials are used, including glass or metal piping. They come in a variety of sizes from very small to very large.

When ready, the rockets are carried to a communal launch-pad. There are numerous types, each serving an individual purpose. The rocket designed to carry prayers to the rain god during Boun Bang Fai, is known as a Hang or Meun-Saen. The Ma is used to mark the passing of someone important. And Chi Nay, Ta Lai and Phu, mark the beginning of important ceremonies and festivals.

The Celebration

Prior to Boun Bang Fai, each village puts together a committee to organize all aspects of the festival, including inviting other villages, introducing rules and safety measures and organizing pirzes for the best rockets.

On the day of the festival, the Boun Bang Fai becomes a toughly contested completion, which generally only bamboo rockets are allowed to enter. First, each rocket is inspected and categorized. Scores are given for the highest flyer, the most beautiful decoration, and the most entertaining team; a category in which just about anything goes, from elaborate masks to men wearing women’s clothes, while women dance and sing. If any of the rockets fail to explode, the team’s technician and leader are forced to drink muddy water or Satho (rice whisky).

Throughout the celebrations, hosts prepare a variety of traditional food for their guests.

These days, the size and location of the event is controlled due to numerous safety concern, including limited space and overlaps with aircraft routes. But nevertheless, most continue to celebrate the festival in one way or another.

In Vientiane Capital, Boun Bang Fai is organized in the outskirts of the city of avoid damage to property and help keep participants safe. The most famous events are held in the surrounding villages of Nason, Natham, Thongmang, Kern, Pakhanhoung and many others.

Source: National Tourism


Another perspective

Rocket is mostly decorate Just like Naga head (Lao dragon), naga is basically living at the river and have a lot significant to Lao tradition as we mostly see naga design decorate on the temple roof and steps. And mostly use at Lao traditional skirt’s pattern and also during the wedding ceremony we use candle light and transform it to couple naga and keep it at home as a lucky fortune.

Well,  why launching naga to sky? it has simple meaning that Naga is asking for rain fall with that the farmer can start rice plantation

https://www.facebook.com/Tourismluangprabang/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

Photo credit: Mr. Bounthieng Soulivanh

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/rocket+festival/keywords_top

Light and launche

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Lao new year

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PIMAI LAO IN LUANG PRABANG

Pimai Lao (the Lao New Year, 14th – 16th April), is one of the most important dates in the Lao calendar. As well as being a time of celebration and endless fun, It has also become synonymous with holiday, the celebration of Lao identity, the reinforcement of family bonds and an opportunity to reflect on the year ahead.

Although the Lao new year is celebrated in joyous spirit throughout the country, nowhere hosts more ancient traditions and colorful pageantry than the northern heritage city of Luang Prabang. Although officially a three day festival, the party always goes on for at least a week.

Officially the last day of the year, 13th April is traditionally a day of renewal, the main symbol of which is water. Buddha images are washed, temples repainted and homes cleaned from top to bottom. In the afternoon, young people pour water on the hands of their elders and ask for their blessing in the year ahead. Much like a New Year toast in western cultures, this is sometimes followed by a short speech from parents or grandparents. During the speech, elders give their blessing to their family, as well as highlighting important family events such as births, deaths or marriages.

The blessing of relatives, friends and even strangers with water continues throughout the festival. Traditionally, you wish someone ‘Happy New Year’ (‘Sok Dii Pimai’), before pouring water over their head, symbolizing the washing away of sins committed in the past year. These days, water is also shot through water guns or thrown from buckets and pans, creating and enormous water-fight that’s impossible to avoid.

For tourists, most of the highlights of Pimai Lao take place on the second day of festivities (14th April), known as ’the day of no day’; a day of transition that is neither part of the old nor the new year.

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Highlights

  • See thousands of sand stupas on the banks of the Mekong, with their colorful banners and offerings, designed to stop evil spirits from passing into the new year (14th April).
  • Don’t miss the procession of Prabang, one of Laos’ most celebrated Buddha images, which gave Luang Prabang its name in 1512 (‘Luang’ meaning great or oryal). The statue is carried in procession from the former Royal Palace to Vat Mai, followed by hundreds of monks in their bright orange shrouds. It’s when the statue is installed at Vat Mai that people can pour water on it, before collecting it as sacred water for blessing friends and family. On arrival at the temple, Prabang is placed in a sim (an alter similar to a chapel) outside the temple. There, he receives a final blessing from the alleged ancestors of the first Lao people.
  • No Lao festival would be complete without its beauty contest, of which Nang Sangkhan (Miss New Year) is the most famous of all. The procession of the beauty queen is spectacular and hugely popular. From across the country teenage hopefuls sponsored by leading Lao brands, flock to Luang Prabang hoping to catch the eye of the judges. Traditionally, she must be a virgin and fifteen or over. The winner is announced on 11th April. The new Nang Sangkhan is then carried in procession on an elaborately decorated float (14th and 15th April).
  • For an authentic display of traditional Lao music, dance and costume, head to the National Museum on 15th April. For music lovers, there’s also a range of instruments you probably never knew existed.
  • During Pimai Lao the party goes on until late. But be prepared to get soaked. Flower is also added to the water, so expect to resemble a half-baked pizza before the end of the day!

Baci (15th April)
For many Lao people, the belief in kwan (spirits which inhabit the human body, as well as animals, plants and inanimate objects) are an important part of the Lao New Year. On the first day of the new year, with transition comes the risk of the kwan leaving the body, exposing them to any number of bad omens. To allow the kwan to return to the body, a ceremony known as a Baci or Soo Kwan is carried out.

First, offerings are made with participants sitting around a table. A chant led by an important figure in the village or family is then repeated collectively to call the kwan to return. Praticipants then tie white thread around each other’s wrists, symbolically binding the kwan to the body, while wishing them good fortune in the year ahead. The ceremony ends by eating a small meal together.

Tips for a great Pimai experience
1. Luang Prabang’s Pimai Lao celebrations are hugely popular, so book flights and accommodation well in advance.
2. You are certain to get wet during Pimai Lao. Always keep passports, mobile phones and other valuables in a waterproof container, or leave them somewhere safe.
3. During Laos’ hottest season, most welcome getting soaking wet. But if you know that’s something you wouldn’t enjoy, don’t plan to visit the middle of April. Otherwise, we’ll see you there!


Schedule for 2017

LUANG PRABANG

THE WORLD HERITAGE TOWN

MONDAY,10TH APRIL 2017  

Opening Market & Fun fair at That Luang Ground (the old stadium)  19:00 Traditional dance show and popular Lao song performance by local artists at That Luang Ground (the old stadium)

 

TUESDAY,11TH – WEDNESDAY,12TH APRIL 2017  

19:30 – 23:00 Beauty contest for Nang Sangkhan (Miss Lao New Year 2017) and Lao Traditional dance and music at That Luang Ground (the old stadium). There will be a variety of food and drinks available.

THURSDAY,13TH APRIL 2017  07:00 Elephant procession starts from Wat Mai to Wat Xieng Thong  09:00 Local Food Exhibition and Internor and externor Textile Exhibition at That Luang Ground (the old stadium)

 

FRIDAY,14TH APRIL 2017  

07:00 Market Fair “Lolat” will be set up on the main street between the old stadium and the Royal Palace. The fair includes a traditional textiles show, local and provincial products.  08:30 Traditional sports competition by local people  09:00 The ceremony of watering the Buddha images for blessing at every temple in Luang Prabang  13:00 Gathering on the beach to make sand stupas “Toppathatsay” to bring a good luck. Basi ceremony at the sand stupas, traditional cultural performance, local sports, Dragon Fire Rocket and sightseeing at “Hatsay moungkhoun” (Mekong River beach, Xiengman village, Chomphet district)

 

SATURDAY,15TH APRIL 2017  

08:00 Textile Exhibition at Ban Phanom, a tradition of Tailue ethnic group and followed by Baci ceremony for international and local guests.  13:00-17:00 The procession of Miss Lao New Year (Nang Sangkhan) will be set up on the main street from Wat Thatnoy to Wat Xieng Thong  19:00 The ceremony of watering the Buddha images for blessing at every temple in Luang Prabang

 

SUNDAY, 16TH APRIL 2017  

05:30 Morning Alms Giving ceremony “Sai Bat” at Wat Sene Soukharam and the climbing of Phou Si mountain to pay respects  13:00 – 17:00 The procession of Miss Lao New Year (Nang Sangkhan) from Wat Xieng Thong back to Wat Thatnoy (repeating the Saturday parade)  19:00 Naga and Lantern parades comes down from Phou Si mountain to the Pond inside National Museum (the Royal Palace). Also see traditional dancing (Pa Lak & Pa Lam dancing, Giants, Monkeys and Nang Keo dancing) at the Museum

 

MONDAY,17TH APRIL 2017  

07:00 Together with monks, provincial leaders, elderly people, international and local guests Bringing Buddha image “Prabang” out of Hor Prabang inside the National Museum to Wat Mai  13:00 Provincial leaders, Miss Lao New Year and all guests will visit Pak Ou Cave for watering of the Buddha images  In the evening there will be watering of the Buddha image “Prabang” and see the Pa Lak & Pa Lam dancing at Wat Mai

 

TUESDAY,18TH – WEDNESDAY,19TH APRIL 2017  

08:00 – 23:00 Watering of the Buddha images.  At night see a traditional art performance from Pa Lak & Pa Lam Hall at Wat Mai.

 

THURSDAY, 20TH APRIL 2017  

08:00 Bringing of “Prabang” Buddha image back to the National Museum.

Source: http://www.tourismlaos.org/

Photo credit: Cubic Consultancy 2011

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Pricco Cafe

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Feeling of vintage at a bistro French style Sandwich and Panini at Norkeo Kouman road. Situated at the heart of Vientiane Capital.

Open from Monday to Saturday, morning to evening.


Pricco

Ham Panini

Hand made Accessories

Counter

Vintage cornor

4 seasons Sandwich

Saumon Sandwhich

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