Tradidtional Laos’ New Year – Boun Pi Mai
Boun Pi Mai festival is Lao New Year Parade. This festival is usually hold from 13th to 15th of April annually calendar. It is one of the most exciting festivals which attract a large number of tourists from all over the world to Laos. Boun Pi Mai or splashing water festival is one of special characters of Asian Culture. It has many different names in other countries. For instance, Boun Pi Mai is called “Songkran” in Thailand, Chol Chnam Thmey in Cambodia. Nevertheless, each of them has different activities depending on the original religion.
In most cases, festivals in Laos are called “Boun”, which is blessed. They mean that doing good to be blessed. This is the celebration of the Laos New Year and is a combination of merriment and meditation. Like almost festivals in this time of the year in other Southest Asian countries, Boun Pi Mai is celebrated with parades, dancing, singing and splashing water to each other. The religious aspects of the festival are the most apparent in Luang Prabang, where Buddhism is worshiped. The festival is organized in three days. In the first day, people clean their houses, prepare scented water and flowers to decorate their home. In the afternoon, they assemble in pagodas and temples to hear the Monks’ lecture and pray Buddha for the best things in new year. They take fragrant water with them to make Buddha statues cleaned in pagodas. The water which drops from the statues is collected and taken home to be poured onto friends and relatives as an act of cleaning and purification, or even for fortune. At the end of the ceremony, people release animals like fish, turtle, crab for peace in new year. Read more: travel Laos
If you have opportunities to visit this country right in the time of Boun Pi Mai festival, when you come to Laotian’s houses, the hosts will tie a blue or red thread on your wrist which is a symbol of happiness and health. And then, it is likely that you will be kept for their traditional meal with sticky rice and “Lap”, which is a salad made up by meat and some herbs and is specific food of Laos’ people on Boun Pi Mai festival.
It seems that the last day of Boun Pi Mai is the most exciting one. They wish each other the best wishes before splashing water. Besides, they also splash water onto their houses, furniture and animals for luck. Therefore, it is lucky for you to be poured water onto on these days, because it will bring you happiness and health for a new year. Let’s take the chance to enjoy this awesome festival in such a beautiful country as Laos.
The Indochina Voyages team.
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