new year in vientiane Vientiane authorities announced on Monday that more than 1,500 people will take part in the Miss Lao New Year (Nang Sangkhan) procession on the first day (April 14) of official Pi Mai celebrations.

The procession will be shorter than last year this time around, reduced from 4km to 2km, to encourage more people to walk along the route.

The parade will start at Inpeng temple, then move along Setthathirath Road before turning right towards the river on Pangkham Road and returning along Fa Ngum Road to Vat Inpeng.

Tourists are welcome to join the proceedings and join in the good-natured water fights whilst learning about Pi Mai traditions.

The Nang Sangkhan contest to select the girls who will take part in the procession will be held on Friday at the That Luang esplanade.

From April 14-16, Setthathirath and Fa Ngum roads will be the main places for people to gather and enjoy the revelry to the full.

Setthathirath Road from Vat Ongteu to Nam Phou Fountain will be closed to traffic from 1pm-5pm and will become a pedestrian zone so everyone can party in safety.

People who want to visit temples to sprinkle water on Buddha images in this area should park along Samsenthai Road.

During the three days of the festival at Vat Simeuang, you can attend baci ceremonies and pour water on the city pillar, Buddha images and Nga Mae (Mother) Simeuang, who sacrificed herself for the city pillar.

All temples will be open fro m early in the morning until 6pm so that worshippers can pour water on Buddha images.

On the last day, Vat Ongteu wil l hold a baci and alms-giving ceremony in the morning to bestow peace on participants and encourage them to ask for blessings and forgiveness.