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Laos cerebrates many annual festivals called "Boun" in the Lao Language which are particularly enjoyable and beautiful, signifying traditional aspects of Lao lifestyle. Most festivals are connected with religion and the yearly rice farming cycle. The timing of the festivals is calculated according to the Buddhist lunar calendar, thus changing every year. Please check the latest information before visiting these events.
International New Year's Day
Date: 1st January 2016
Venue: Nationwide
Phrathat Sampang Stupa Festival
Date: 7th - 9th January 2016

Venue: Champasack Province
Lao National Military's Day
Date: 20th January 2016

Venue: Nationwide

Lao Food Festival
Date: 28th - 30th 2016
Venue: Chao Anouvong Park, Vientiane Capital

The Lao Women's Union and lao Businesswomen's Association are holding the 11th Lao Food Festival in Vientiane. Everyone is invited to come along and sample traditional Lao cuisine.
Wat Phou Festival
Date: 18th - 22nd February 2016
Venue: Champasack Province

The Wat Phou festival is annually held on the full moon of the 3rd month of lunar calendar, on the grounds of the enchanting pre-Angkorian Wat Phou remains in Champasack. There is elephant racing, buffalo fighting, cock fighting and performances of Lao traditional music and dances. There is a trade fair showcasing the products from the southern province of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Sikhottabong Festival
Date: 18th - 22nd February 2016

Venue: Khammouane Province
This religious festival is held at Sikhottabong stupa, located about 8 kilometers south of Thakhek. A trade fair is also held at the festival featuring the display and sales of products from over 130 exhibitors from the nine districts of this central province along with goods from neighboring Thailand.
The Elephant Festival and Trade Fairs
Date: 15th - 21st February 2016 (Trade Fairs)
Date: 19th - 21st February 2016 (Elephant Festival)

Venue: Sayabouly District, Sayabouly Province
As a living icon with important symbolic connotations and historical associations in Laos, the elephant is an animal dear to the hearts of the Lao people. The Elephant festival is a celebration of culture and traditional ties between Lao communities and elephant as well as drawing attention to the endangered status of this charismatic.....                                                                           
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Boun Khao Chi (Makhaboucha)
Date: 22nd Febuary 2016
Venue: Nationwide

This festival is held during the third full moon of the lunar calendar at the "Wat" (temple) in the morning for the purposeof commemorating the speech given by Buddha to 1,250 enlightened monks. Temple goers circumnavigate the Wat three times with candles in a ceremony known as vien tian. Boun Khao Chi - special bread of sticky rice, coated with egg and then grilled, is made and offered to the monks. This offering occurs during Makhaboucha.
Boun Khoun Khao or Khoun Lan (Rice Ceremony)
Date: March
Venue: Nationwide

This is a harvest festival. A 'Baci' ceremony is performed in order to give thanks to the land .
Boun Phavet
Date: March
Venue: Nationwide

A ceremony of offering to have one's future read from a piece of paper drawn, during the three day, three night festival. During Boun Phavet, people get a piece of paper where their future is written. 
"Boun Pi Mai" (Lao New Year)
Date: 13rd - 16th April 2016
Venue: Nationwide

The new year celebration includes especially beautified and the most colorful parade wearing traditional Lao costumes with music and dance, the procession of the sacred Prabang Buddha image, and the Miss New Year beauty contest will be shown.....
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Boun Bang Fai (Rocket Festival)
Date: May
Venue: Vientiane Province (Phon Hong District) and Nationwide

The festival is a call for rain and  a celebratiion of feritlity. 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 and perform some acts in order to anger th gods. As a revenge, the gods are expected to send thunderstorms.....                                                                                                          

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Boun Visakhaboucha
Date: 20th May 2016
Venue: Nationwide

This festival is held during the sixth full moon of the lunar calendar for the Buddha. Candlelight processions are held in temples to mark the birth date of Buddha.
International Children's Day and National Tree Planting Day
Date: 1st June 2016
Venue: Nationwide
Asalahaboucha Day and Boun Khao Phansa Festival (Buddhist Lent)
Date: 19th July 2016
Venue: Nationwide

The beginning of the Buddhist Lent. During the next three-month period, monks spend most of their time in prayer, meditation and restricted from spending nights in other temples other than their own.
Boun Khao Padabdin (Rice Growing Festival) and Boat Racing Festival
Date: 1st September 2016
Venue: Nationwide and Luang Prabang Province

At the Khao Padabdin ceremony day, people visit local temples to make offerings to dead ancestors as well as to share merit-making. This festival includes boat racing on the Nam Khan River and a trade fair in Luang Prabang World Heritage town.
Boun Khao Salak Ancestor Festival Day
Date: 16th September 2016
Venue: Nationwide

This is for offerings to be made for dead ancestors to obtain merit. Popular and exciting longboat-racing competitions are held to celebrate the river. This festival is held during the tenth full moon of the lunar calendar.
Luang Prabang Half Marathon
Date: 23 October 2016 
Venue: Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang Half Marathon or also known as the "La Procession" which is held at Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience the all-sweat out ra during the month of October. The rate comprises with 21 kilometers, 14 kilometers and 7 kilometers distances that start from the National Museum. The organization raises the event to give significance to the charities they chosen. The concerns of the runners and all other professional racers are to the people who need their help.
Naga Rocket
Date: 16th October 2016
Venue: Bolikhamxay Province

The fireballs coming out from the water's surface can be seen once a year on the last night of the Lao Buddhist Lent. The Naga Rockets can be spotted where the Nam Ngum and the Mekong river meet in Thaprabath District, Bolikhamxay Province, as well as in Pak Ngum District, 60 kilometers east of Vientiane.

Boun Ok Phansa and Boat Racing Festival
Date: 16th October 2016 (Boun Ok Phansa & 
Lhai Heua Fai, Festival of the Boats of Light)
Date: 17th October 2016 (Boat Racing Festival)
Venue: Vientiane Capital and Nationwide

Boun Ok Phansa is the last day of the Buddhist lent. It occurs on the 15th day of the 11th month of the lunar calendar. In the morning, donation and offering are made at temples around the country. In the evening, candlelight processions are held around the temples while hundreds of colourful floats decorated with flowers, incense and candles are set adrift down the rivers giving thanks to the river spirit (lai huea fai and loi ka thong). There are said to pay respect to the Buddha and to thank the mother of river for providing water for our lives as well as for blessing and to float bad luck of the past year away enabling the good luck to flow in. this colourful ritual has been carried on by Lao people for thousands of year. 

Venue: Sayabouly Province
This marks the end of the monks' three-month-fast and retreat during the rainy season. At dawn, donation and offerings are made at the temples. Prayers are chanted by the monks, and at dusk candlelight procession wind around the temples. Concurrently, hundreds of decorated candlelit-floats, made of paper, are set adrift in the rivers. These carry offerings and incense, transforming the river into a fragrant snake of sparkling water.

Laos Handicaft Festival
Date: 26th 
October - 1st November  2016
Venue: Lao-ITECC, Vientiane Capital
Handicraft Festival has been internationally recognized where the costumers and traders came from different countries around Asia and some other continents. The festival occurs during the month of November at Lao ITECC. Beyond 200 professional artists from all over the world participates on this event. The fest showcases various products including jewelries, textiles, handicrafts, souvenirs, and even agricultural and food products which includes oil, tea and coffee. The festival gives courage and appreciates the culture, traditional designs, and skills of every individual.
That Luang Festival and Trade Fair in Vientiane Capital
Date: 7th - 14th November 2016
Venue: Vientiane Capital

This religious festival is held in and around That Luang Stupa, the national symbol of Laos. It is a three-day religious festival celebrated at full moon in November. It begins with a pre-dawn gathering of thousands of pilgrims from Laos and Thailand at That Luang who listen to prayers and sermons chanted by hundreds of monks all representing Lao wats. The festival ends with a huge fireworks display.....                                                                                                                        

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Lao National Day
Date: 2nd December 2016
Venue: Nationwide

This celebrates the 1975 victory ofthe proletariat over the monarchy with parades, speeches, etc. Lao national and communist hammer and sickle flags are flown all over the country. Celebration is mandatory, hence poorer communities postpone some of the traditional Ok Phansa activities usually practiced roughly a month earlier-until National Day, thus saving themselves considerable expense.
Luang Prabang Film Festival
Date: 2nd - 7th December 2016 
Venue: Luang Prabang ( Dara Maket )

You really know a country is moving forward when they host their own film festival. The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an annual celebration of filmmaking is southeast Asia that aims to educate Lao people about film as a means of cultural expression and communication, and to support a nascent local industry and art form.
Hmong New Year
Date: Beginning of December
Venue: Vientiane, Oudomxay, Xieng Khouang, Luang Prabang

The Hmong New Year celebration features colorful displays of traditional costumes made from green, red and white silk and ornate silver jewelry. Music from traditional Hmong instruments such as the teun-flute, Hmong-style khene pipe and leaf blowing is enjoyed. Other festivities include the Makkhon (cotton-ball) throwing ceremony, ox fighting, spinning-top races and crossbow demonstrations.
That Inhang Festival
Date: 14th December 2016
Venue: Savannakhet Province

This festival wil be held on the grounds of the splendid That Inhang Stupa which is located just outside the city of Savannakhet. An international trade fair will include exhibitions of tourism products from Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The fair will also include the performance of traditional Lao music and dance, as well as a sports competition featuring football, boxing, tennis and local traditions, including a drumming competition.