The traditional Lao New Year festivities officially started on April 13 with a fair or Talat Nat in the center of the city, where all necessary festival items and handicrafts ranging from candles to live animals were displayed for sale. In the afternoon, locals gathered at a beach on the Mekong River bank to erect and adorn miniature sand stupas and, for some, to set free animals such as birds, fish or turtles while wishing for good luck and good health in the coming year.
In the morning of April 14th, there was a cultural show and textile handicraft exhibition from Lao Leu from Ban Phanom. In the afternoon, revelers witnessed the traditional, colorful, costumed parade or Vo procession from Wat That Noi to Wat Xieng Thong, including Nang Sangkhane, Pu Gneu Nha Gneu, Pha Baci, monks and novices, monkey dancing and nang keo dancing.
In the morning of the 15th, New Year’s day, the traditional Baci ceremony was held and the Vo procession or parade made its return from Wat Xieng Thong back to Wat That Noi.
Mr. Khamtanh Somphanvilay, Deputy Director of Luang Prabang Tourist Department, told VOA that more than 22,000 tourists from other provinces and from foreign countries visited the city to enjoy the New Year celebration during this period.
Luang Prabang was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1995.
Listen to our Laos Today for more details in Lao.