Lao New Year, known as Pi Mai Lao, is traditionally celebrated for only three days from April 14-16. This year it has been extended to five days .
Officials have announced that since April 15th and 16th occur on a weekend (Saturday and Sunday), April 13 (Thursday) and April 17 (Monday) will officially be added as public holidays in compensation.
The government has requested for all state departments and citizens of the country to celebrate the national festival in hopes of preserving the traditions and customs of the Lao people, as well as promoting tourism.
In an announcement made by the Prime Minister’s office earlier this week, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport was called upon to work with the necessary sectors to launch a road-safety campaign and facilitate traffic to ease congestion during the holiday.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce was instructed to confer with relevant sectors to guarantee an ample supply of food and goods available in local markets at this time of high demand. Furthermore, the relevant authorities were advised to oversee that merchants do not take advantage of the public, by raising prices unreasonably,
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism was advised by officials to collaborate with other provinces across the country to encourage people to celebrate Pi Mai Lao in line with Lao traditions and customs.
During the holiday, numerous activities will be organised nationwide with special attractions occurring in major towns and at popular tourist sites. These activities draw a massive number of domestic and foreign visitors, who enthusiastically take part in water fights and other scheduled events.
Traditionally and as the New Year approaches, local authorities will announce the details of activities to be organised in certain locations.