Vientiane committee prepares for annual boat racing festival

Introduction: The Vientiane organising committee in charge of this year’s boat racing festival expects to have an increase in the number of boats taking part in the festival which is being held on October 8-9.

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Story:According to their report, last year a total of 42 boats took part in the races. Male crews raced 12 traditional boats, seven modified boats and 17 sports boats, while women crewed six traditional boats. Last year saw the first-ever participation of boats from Luang Prabang, Borikhamxay and Vientiane provinces.

The Vat Chan festival is the largest boat racing competition in Laos and takes place annually the day after Buddhist Lent ends.

According to the committee, they are only waiting for confirmation of the level of the Mekong River to ensure it is suitable. If the level is too high they will have to change the route they will use but if it is low there will be no change.

This year they are expecting more than 10 sports boats, 12 traditional boats and six modified boats plus many others crewed by men from Vientiane and Luang Prabang provinces.

This joyous festival provides an opportunity for people throughout the country to visit one another and strengthen family bonds.

Aside from the boat races, the main attraction is a massive street fair where many people gather to shop for bargains. Also on offer are games of various kinds and rides for children, as well as shows and concerts by Lao artists.

The committee will make public announcements to people planning to attend the festival to take full precautions regarding their safety and security.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on September 26, 2014