Tag Archives: boat racing festival

Plastic-free, Climate-friendly: Mekong Boat Race Crew, UN Hit the H20 in Laos

Thapha village boat racing team

 

“The recent floods around the country have made it clear; Water is both a life resource and a threatening factor. The Thapha village team, in Vientiane province’s Hadxayfong district, takes a leap towards climate action, in urging us all to stop using single-use plastic bags, cups and bottles, to keep the beautiful Mekong river clean.

– United Nations in Lao PDR,
October 24, 2018
#UNDay2018

With the full moon finale to Buddhist Lent Wednesday and annual boat racing events Thursday, Laos and its capital’s downtown riverside are alive with festive fever once again.

In a certain corollary with traditional New Year celebrations in April, water will once again be at the heart of the celebration in the Lao capital.

This time, the precious element will provide centre stage as crews of 20 odd battle for supremacy on the Mekong River in front of cheering multitudes once again.

Sadly, another similarity between this and other festivals will bin the tonnes of waste generated in the form of single-use plastics, some of which will end up in the famed waterway.

Reducing this is toll is a goal shared by policymakers and urban authorities in the capital with support from civil society groups and from the UN and its relevant agencies.

Of course, the boat racing celebrations are a popular release after three lunar months of Lenten “rains retreat” observed in various forms by the ordained monks and novices and a great many lay devotees among the majority Buddhist nation.

Amid celebrations sacred and civil, there is also a time to reflect upon the power of water to give and take.

The flash flooding disaster in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province as a result of a saddle dam collapse was the most damaging and high profile of several weather-related or exacerbated disasters in Laos this year.

Water was a major factor in the disasters that exerted costs on peoples lives. At the same time, water also makes life possible.

At the same time, single-use plastic is choking rivers and oceans, posing the water that we drink. Water-related disasters such as flash floods and tsunami lead not only to human losses but also the release of vasts amounts of plastic and other pollution.

Putting people at the heart of the solutions has seen the UN in Lao PDR put its shoulder behind a crew of rowers from a rural part of the rapidly urbanizing capital to help spread the message of individual and collective climate action and the reduction of single-use plastic, as captured in this video:

UN in Lao PDR supports Thapha village boat racing team

[Scroll down for English] ໄພນໍ້າຖ້ວມໃນທົ່ວປະເທດເມື່ອບໍ່ດົນມານີ້ ເຫັນໄດ້ຊັດເຈນວ່າ ນໍ້າເປັນທັງແຫຼ່ງຊັບພະຍາກອນສຳລັບການດຳລົງຊີວິດ ແລະ ເປັນທັງໄພຄຸກຄາມຕໍ່ການດຳລົງຊີວິດ. ການປ່ຽນແປງຂອງສະພາບດິນຟ້າອາກາດ ໄດ້ກໍ່ໃຫ້ເກີດເຫດການໄພພິບັດທາງທຳມະຊາດທີ່ຮ້າຍແຮງ ແລະ ພວກເຮົາທັງໝົດຕ້ອງມີສ່ວນຮ່ວມໃນການຮັບມືກັບການປ່ຽນແປງຂອງສະພາບດິນຟ້າອາກາດ.ປີນີ້, ອົງການສະຫະປະຊາຊາດ ໄດ້ໃຫ້ການສະໜັບສະໜຸນເຮືອຊ່ວງໜຶ່ງລໍາ ຕິດພັນກັບຂໍ້ຄວາມສຳຄັນທີ່ວ່າ: ທີມບ້ານທ່າພະ, ເມືອງຫາດຊາຍຟອງ, ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ, ຮ່ວມສົ່ງເສີມການຮັບມືກັບການປ່ຽນແປງຂອງສະພາບດິນຟ້າອາກາດ ໂດຍຮຽກຮ້ອງໃຫ້ພວກເຮົາຢຸດຕິການໃຊ້ຖົງຢາງ, ຈອກຢາງ ແລະ ກະຕຸກຢາງທີ່ໃຊ້ໄດ້ພຽງຄັ້ງດຽວ ເພື່ອຮັກສາຄວາມສະອາດຂອງແມ່ນໍ້າຂອງທີ່ສວຍງາມ. ຂໍເຊີນທ່ານມາທີ່ທ່າວັດຈັນ, ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນມື້ອື່ນ ເພື່ອໃຫ້ກຳລັງໃຈທີມບ້ານທ່າພະ ແລະ ສະໜັບສະໜຸນໃຫ້ແມ່ນໍ້າຂອງກາຍເປັນແມ່ນໍ້າທີ່ປອດພລາສຕິກ! ແລ້ວພົບກັນເດີ້!The recent floods around the country have made it clear: Water is both a life resource and a threatening factor. Climate change exacerbates extreme weather events, and we all have our own stake in climate action. This year, the United Nations is supporting a boat racing team with a special message: The Thapha village team, in Vientiane province’s Hadxayfong district takes a leap towards climate action, in urging us all to stop using single-use plastic bags, cups and bottles, to keep the beautiful Mekong river clean. Come to the river bank in Vientiane tomorrow to root for the Thapha team and a river free of plastic! See you there!#MyChoiceOurFuture#BeatPlasticPollution#UNDay2018UN Environment Asia Pacific UNDP in Asia and the Pacific UNFCCC Global Environment Facility European Union in Laos U.S. Embassy Vientiane Ambassade de France au Laos / ສະຖານທູດຝຣັ່ງ ປະຈຳ ສປປ ລາວ UNV Regional Office: Asia & the Pacific UN Volunteers Programme in Lao PDR @Unicef Laos @World Bank Laos – ທະນາຄານໂລກ JICA Laos -ອົງການຮ່ວມມືສາກົນຢີ່ປຸ່ນ- KOICA 라오스 사무소 KOICA Office in Lao PDR YOUTH Development Center, Vientiane Capital STELLA – ສະເຕ່ວລ້າ Lao Youth Radio FM 90.0 Mhz Lao Youth Union GIZ Laos IUCN IUCN Water Programme Break Free From Plastic Greenpeace Southeast Asia Global Water Forum World Water Council – Conseil Mondial de l'Eau WWF-Laos Vientiane Times ໂທລະໂຄ່ງ TholaKhong Mahason Magazine Laos Briefly

Posted by United Nations in Lao PDR on ວັນອັງຄານ ທີ 23 ຕຸລາ 2018

The UN in Lao PDR on Facebook writes:

 

The recent floods around the country have made it clear; Water is both a life resource and a threatening factor.

Climate change exacerbates extreme weather events, and we all have our own stake in climate action. 
This year, the United Nations is supporting a boat racing team.

The Thapha village team, in Vientiane province’s Hadxayfong district, takes a leap towards climate action, in urging us all to stop using single-use plastic bags, cups and bottles, to keep the beautiful Mekong river clean.

Come to the river bank in Vientiane tomorrow to root for the Thapha team and a river free of plastic! See you there!”

#MyChoiceOurFuture #BeatPlasticPollution #UNDay2018 

Buddhist Lent, Boat Racing Festivities as Vientiane’s Riverside Roads Close

Pedestrians & Cyclists rule! Road closures for Boat Racing Festival 2018 in Vientiane Capital

Vientiane’s Mekong Riverside Don Chanh & Fa Ngum roads are closed temporarily from 22-27 October to mark the end of Buddhist Lent and the annual Boat Racing Festival.

The Security Department of Civil Works and Transport announced affected areas as:

  1. Donchanh Road (along the riverside from Pakpasak to Chao Anouvong Statue)
  2. Chao Fa Ngum Road (from the Pakpasak traffic light to Hophakeo museum)

 

Road Closure announcement in Vientiane Laos

Road Closure announcement in Vientiane Laos

Vientiane’s City 2 Bus has also announced route changes during the festival.

Vientiane City 2 Bus Route Changes

Vientiane City 2 Bus Route Changes for 2018 Boat Racing Festival

Ride sharing App Loca advises passenger patience and a safe trip. Drive safely! Don’t drink!

Loca Advises Driver and Passenger patience during festivities.

Loca Advises Driver and Passenger patience during festivities.

 

Oct 4-6 Official Boat Racing Festival Dates

Following an announcement made by the Governor of Chanthabouly district, Mrs. Bouarone Vongdarasan, the annual Boat Racing Festival will officially take place Oct 4-6 at Chao Anouvong Park.

Traditionally, the festival is held every year at Tha Vat Chanh, Chanthaboury district, where boats representing public organizations, private sector, business community and communities compete for victories and prizes.

With the festival drawing massive crowds of guests, participants and vendors from Vientiane Capital and provinces all across the country, the aim of the event is to promote and preserve the culture of the Lao people.

Many vendors travel long distances to sell popular traditional street foods such as khao lam, ping kai and tam mak houng. 

Almsgiving will be made by buddhist worshippers at 7:00am on October, 5 followed by a traditional candle lit procession held at temples nationwide after sunset. In the evening, people release small banana trunk boats lit with candles down the river for good luck, also referred to as lai heua fai.

Oct. 6 the boat racing festivities will conclude, followed by the winners being announced and trophies awarded in the late afternoon.

Roadsides near the boat racing venue and vacant land, along with footpaths, are designated paid parking spaces. Standard parking fees vary, typically starting at 3,000 kip per bicycle, 5,000 kip per motorcycle and 15,000 kip for cars.

Local authorities have stressed that maintaining peace and order during the celebration of the festival is a high priority.