Authorities in Luang Prabang appear to have released a schedule of events for the upcoming Lao New Year festival.
Events during the three-day holiday in Luang Prabang typically include a traditional market fair, an elephant procession, sand stupas along the riverbank, and the grand procession of Miss New Year from Wat That Noy to Wat Xieng Thong.
On the second day of Lao New Year in Luang Prabang, The Prabang is paraded out of Hor Prabang to Wat Mai.
Provincial leaders and Miss New Year also visit Pak Ou Caves to sprinkle lustral water on the Buddha images there.
On the third day, the Prabang is paraded back to Hor Prabang from Wat Mai
Uncertainty Surrounds New Year Holiday
The Lao New Year (Boun Pi Mai) festival had been canceled in 2020, and was scaled back in 2021 amid outbreaks of Covid-19.
Despite the festival going ahead in 2021, a number of restaurants and bars defied government restrictions, opening and serving patrons during the Lao New Year period.
As a result, events during the national holiday led to a massive outbreak of Covid-19 in Vientiane Capital, forcing authorities to place the affected provinces under lockdown and enforce strict Covid prevention measures.
Residents of Laos have been speculating as to whether or not the Lao New Year festivities would go ahead this year amid coronavirus concerns.
The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced today that the country is facing a third wave of coronavirus infections after the Omicron variant was identified in the community.
Health officials said that during random sampling in the nation’s capital, nine out of ten patients were confirmed to be infected with the Omicron variant.