Luang Prabang is a beautiful city located in the north-central of Laos. The name given to town means the Royal Buddha Image. It has around 58 small villages surrounding it which provide such a beautiful mixture of cultures and lifestyles. Most people know the city as it is famous for hosting events such as the Luang Prabang Festival amongst others. This is a festival or rather a celebration that takes place so that people can enjoy the architectural, religious as well as the cultural heritage of the people of this city. Being a French colony, most people in the place are fond of speaking in the French antique. The ancient buildings and the structures in the town also imitate the French architectural design which only adds to the uniqueness and the beauty of the city. Here’s the history of the festival held in Luang Prabang Festival.
Conquest and Beginning of Luang Prabang Festivals
Initially, Luang Prabang was referred to as Muang Sua after the conquest by a Tai Prince in the early 5th century. The Prince established a dynasty that lasted over fifteen years with different rulers during the period. The dynastic kingdoms continued up to a time around the 16th century when France annexed Laos and recognised as a royal residence. Nearing the 20th century, the people of the city came up with this festival with the aim of uniting all those who lived in the City and its environs. It became a renowned festival and attracted a lot of local and international tourists. As time went by, the people were able to come up with even more beautiful events and attractions to help them earn income. These events and celebrations include the boat racing festival, the film festival and many others. Not only did this bring people together but also helped the outsiders learn about the cultures and the way of living of the Laos people.
Boat racing Festivals in Luang Prabang
Boat racing (Boun Souang Heua) is a local festival that happens every year all around the country of Laos for around six weeks. This is usually the period from the end of August to the beginning of October. However, as a tourist, it is important to note that all this depends on the lunar calendar. Most of these traditional boat racing festivals happen before the end of Buddhist lent on weekends. Depending on the year, it is possible for you to note that the dates for the festival vary. The first one happened in at the Nam Khan River; Luang Prabang at the exact half-time of the Buddhist lent and ended on the last day of the Buddhist lent period. This is the main boat racing festival, and it attracts a massive number of tourists and visitors. During this time, tourism is said to be on the peak as most of the locals make significant profits from it. The last race traditionally takes place at Ban Xieng Ngeun, about thirty kilometres from Luang Prabang which is on the road to Vientiane. To begin this festival, homemade rockets made from bamboo and used to announce the commencement of the racing festival. It is undoubtedly something not to miss.
In conclusion, there are many other festivals that you can actively take part in while in Laos, not only to learn the people’s culture but also for fun and excitement. The film festival is one of the most exciting festivals that you can attend while in Luang Prabang, Laos. Most people believe that a country is moving forward when they can host and manage their film festival. The Luang Prabang Film Festival (LPFF) is an annual ceremony that involves the celebration of the filmmaking in Southeast Asia. It aims at educating the Lao people on the importance and essence of filming as a way of expressing and preserving their cultural aspects. It also focuses on making the tourists aware of these local elements that make up the Lao people. Through these festivals, the indigenous traditions are passed on to the younger generations in an exciting way. There is no better way to pass on information to people than to use the power in art and craft industry.