Festivals in Laos : Enjoying That Luang Festival in Vientiane

That Luang Festival

Laos, neighboring China, Burma, Thailand, Cameroon and Vietnam is a land locked country known worldwide for its amazing culture, festivals, celebrations and traditional cuisine that still carry the same flavor and style in making as in the Royal palaces hundreds of years ago. The capital city of Laos is Vientiane served by all top airlines namely Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, SAS and China Airline. Cheap flights to Vientiane, Laos from London are mostly available with Lufthansa Airline at best prices.

Laos, is a country that carries impressive traditions, ethics and friendliness. The major state religion is ‘Buddhism’ a symbol of eternal peace, love and humanity.

What brings millions of tourists to this country is the temple called, “Pha That Luang”. The temple dates back to 1566, and holds immense importance in the Laos’s culture, tradition and religion. Since the 15th century, the temple faced destruction many times. It has almost been ransacked, reconstructed and renovated however the true essence can still be felt in its amazing structure and design. According to the Lao people, the temple is a lot more than just a worship place as it is believed to extremely sacred enshrining a relic of Buddha in its stupa. It is also the international symbol of the country and most religious monument of historic significance.

Pha That Luang temple becomes alive with exciting celebrations and colorful events during the “That Luang Festival”, the heart throb of the entire nation. This festival is also known as “Bun That Luang”. The vibrant occasion begins in the 12th month of the lunar calendar on the 15th day of waxing moon (November). Religious figures, Monks and Lao people from all over the country congregate the occasion with three days of religious ceremony. The ceremony is followed by a whole week of exciting festivals, going on all day and night.

The story and aim behind the celebration of this vibrant national and religious festival is to pray for a better life. The laypeople walk in processions from the “Wat Si Muang” in the Vientiane city towards the “Pha That Luang”, many join the procession on the way, and by the time they arrive in the Pha That Luang the procession has usually doubled its size. In the Pha That Luang, the Lao people make offerings to the Monks to reflect their obedience and in hope of getting their prayers heard for a better life after recarntation. The offerings include candles, lanterns presented in honor of Buddha.

The event is most spectacular as gaily colored costumes and candle lighting in the night gives the temple a magical look. Also the folk music troupes and popular dramas, story teller of Laos, are not to be missed.

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