Vientiane will use its diverse culture, a range of exciting activities and a trade fair to impress local residents and foreign visitors during this year’s Pi Mai Lao (Lao New Year), which takes place from April 14-16.

Vice Mayor of Vientiane Mr Saithong Keoduangdy yesterday revealed the plans for the celebrations to local media.

A trade fair and a performing arts competition involving the capital’s nine districts will take place at Lao-ITECC from April 6-12, showcasing the artistic traditions of the districts’ residents.
The annual Miss Vientiane Contest is scheduled to take place on April 10 at the same venue, from 7.30-10.30pm.

On April 14, the first day of Pi Mai Lao, a parade of sacred Buddha images and Ms Vientiane will take place at 1pm starting from Vat Inpeng and will proceed along Setthathirath Road to the crossroads at Mahosot Hospital before turning onto Fa Ngum Road and back to Vat Inpeng.

Various entertaining beach activities will be prepared for Don Chan Beach in Chanthabouly district to entertain festival goers, Mr Saithong told reporters.

A sand art activity starts as early as today, running from April 1-19, with an official opening of the art festival to take place on April 12. Everyone is welcome to come to the beach to admire the artistic sand-based creations free of charge, from 9am to 9pm.

In addition, a beach sports contest between the nine districts will take place from April 11-16 in the same location. The sports include beach soccer, beach volleyball, and beach sepak takraw among others.

Other highlights include a sand stupa building competition slated for April 16, the last day of Pi Mai Lao, when a trade fair showcasing Lao products will also be organised.

Mr Saithong said he hoped the festivities would significantly boost the number of visitors to the capital.

“We hope these activities will attract more visitors as we are targeting 1.5 million tourist arrivals in Vientiane this year,” he added.

Festival goers will be sure to enjoy the most anticipated and joyful event of Pi Mai Lao, which takes place along Setthathirath Road. The road will be closed to traffic from the crossroads at Vat Inpeng to Nam Phou fountain, to allow revellers to engage in a wild water battle throughout the three-day holiday.

As usual, visitors and Vientiane residents can enjoy a longstanding cultural tradition by pouring water over Buddha images at various temples.

A grand almsgiving ceremony will take place on April 16 at Vat Ongteu starting at 7:30 am, to be attended by state leaders, leading Vientiane officials and local residents.

To maintain public order and safety during the festival, Vientiane authorities have prohibited drunk driving, and the sale of explosive products, sparklers and other fireworks.

Festival goers are prohibited from throwing ice at each other or at vehicles. They are also not allowed to throw coloured water, water mixed with skin irritants, or dirty water.

Source: Vientiane Times YouTube Channel
Published on April 01, 2015