From 26 October 2017 - 03 November 2017

Boun That Luang - That Luang Stupa Festival

The Golden Stupa or Pha That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument in Laos and Vientiane’s most important Buddhist festival is Boun That Luang. The That Luang festival is held over three-seven days during the full moon of the twenty-fifth lunar month (November, but sometimes October).

The festival starts with a colourful candlelight  “wax castle” (Phasat) procession which starts in the evening before at Wat Simeuang. The procession continues the next afternoon from Wat Simeuang to That Luang. People carry flowers, candles, incense and wax castles decorated by flowers and bank notes. People wear their best clothes for these procession and there is also a parade of men and women dressed in various Lao ethnic costumes who dance and play traditional music and songs as they approach the stupa. The so-called wax castles have been a part of Lao lifestyle for many year, and bringing one  to Pha That Luang on this occasion is believed to bring considerable merit.

The following morning a huge crowd assembles at dawn That Luang to give alms to hundreds of monks who come here from around the country, and to play homage to the stupa. A traditional picnic follows, when people eat boiled chicken and rice and catch up with friends and families.

Then in the afternoon, everyone will gather on the esplanade for the traditional game of tikhy, which is played with a ball and long curved stick, resembling a game of hockey. Nevertheless, the procession to accompany the (louk khee) from the stupa to the grounds and back

The festival draws to close under a full moon, when people from all over Laos will crowd around Pha That Luang (stupa) for one last candlelight procession. There are also firework displays to mark the end of the celebration. During That Luang festival there are trade fairs and concerts and funfairs held around the esplanade.

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12 - 16 January 2020
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

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