Its time to pay homage to the golden grand stupa, the magnificent festival that takes place in Vientiane from October 31 to November 6
Introduction: This is the time of year when everyone comes to pay homage to the golden grand stupa, and the magnificent festival that takes place in Vientiane from October 31 to November 6 is the country’s most widely celebrated.
Story: Thousands of Lao people living in the provinces and overseas will converge on the revered That Luang stupa to make merit by giving alms and presenting offerings to hundreds of monks and novice monks who gather at the That Luang esplanade on the last day of the festival.
Among the highlights is a colourful wax castle procession at Vat Simeuang on November 5. The procession then assembles at the Patouxay monument and moves along 23 Singha Road to the That Luang esplanade.
There will be an almsgiving ceremony early in the morning on November 6, followed by a traditional game of tikhy (hockey) at 2pm.
A Vientiane candlelight procession will take place in the evening of the same day as a mark of respect for the That Luang Stupa, beginning at 8pm.
Dos and Don’ts at That Luang. Visitors come to That Luang in droves to pay their respects to the grand stupa and ponder over the ancient artefacts on display. That Luang is a sacred place. Men and women including foreign visitors wear modest clothing.
Women always dress in a long skirt ( sinh ) to enter the grand stupa. Those from overseas who arrive wearing trousers or shorts can rent a long skirt. Because of the reverence accorded to That Luang, it is not permitted to wear hats or shoes to worship the Buddha images inside the grand stupa.
Lao people sit cross-legged on the ground to pay homage to all sacred things including Buddha images. Visitors can buy flowers, incense sticks and candles so they can take part in the ceremonies.
Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on October 31, 2014