Celebrations & Holidays


January 1 - national holiday

January or February - Chinese and Vietnamese New Year; it is celebrated principally by the Chinese and Vietnamese minorities, but cause for many shops to be closed. The celebration is flexible in date as it is determined by the lunar calendar

January - Boun Pha Vet; commemoration of the incarnation of King Vessanthara as Buddha; flexible in date as it is determined by the lunar calendar

February - Magha Puja; Buddhist holiday, flexible in date as it is determined by the lunar calendar

March 8 - Women's Day; national holiday with parades

March 22 - Day of the People's Party

March - Boun Khoun Khao; thanksgiving celebration, flexible in date as it is determined by the lunar calendar

Mid - April - Boun Pimai; traditional Laotian New Year, similar to Songkran in Thailand; the celebrations last for three days during which citizens douse each other liberally with water; exact date determined by the lunar calendar

May 1 - Labour Day; national holiday with parades in Vientiane

May - Boun Bang Fai; equal to the rocket festival in Northeast Thailand; bamboo rockets are fired at the sky; it is believed this will bring about much-needed rain; exact date determined by the lunar calendar

June 1 - Children's Day

June or July - Khao Pansa; beginning of the Buddhist Lent; the exact date depends on the lunar calendar. The day is preferred by Laotians and Buddhist men of neighbouring countries for becoming monks, mostly on a temporary basis

August 13 - Lao Issara, Day of the Free Laos

August - Ho Khao Padap Dinh; a kind of Laotian All-Saints-Day in commemoration of the dead and ancestors;  exact date determined by the lunar calendar

August or September - Boun Song Heua, Boat Race in Luang Prabang

October - Bouk ok Pansa; the date of the final celebrations of the Buddhist Lent; exact date determined by the lunar calendar, Boat Race in Vientiane

November - That Luang festival in Vientiane

December 2 - Independence Day; national holiday with military parades

December - New-Year celebration of the Hmong, a strong ethnic minority in Laos; exact date determined by the lunar calendar




















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