Tag Archives: festival

Japan x Sabai: Sounds, Sights, Tastes, Smiles, Friendship a Feast at Tokyo’s Laos Festival ’19

Laos Festival 2019 Celebrated in Tokyo, Japan May 25-26, 2019

Dancing, Friendship, Frivolity & Unmistakable Sound of World Heritage Listed Bamboo-Piped Khaen Among the Greetings to Tokyo’s Famous Yoyogi Park for Japan’s Laos Festival 2019, The Laotian Times reports.

Lumberings & Longings: Trials, Tales As Domesticated Elephants, Handlers Adjust to A New Era in Laos

Laos Mahout

Like wildlife in biological hotspots worldwide, Laos’ wild and domesticated elephants alike are facing a time of rapid and significant change, amid increased man-made developments and a fast-changing natural and socio-economic environment, Laotian Times writes.

VangVieng Music Festival 2 Sets Out To Make Entertainment History

Those unlucky people who missed the Vangvieng Music Fest organized by Samart Event Organizer last week will get the chance to attend the Vangvieng Music Festival 2 hosted by Lao Bangfai and Lao Pride Records this weekend.

Taking place on December 23-24 at the Lom Cave in Vangvieng, everyone will get the chance to say goodbye to 2016 with a huge bang.

The festival features live bands and DJs from Laos and abroad.

Lao Bangfai Prime Association representative, Anousa Phothisan, said the festival will host Lao bands such as Leprosy, L.O.G., Neung Super One, and Thai bands such as Slot Machine and Tattoo Colour. Other acts include DJs and bands from beyond the Southeast Asian region.

Tickets are on sale for 70,000 kip at branches of Amazon Café and True Coffee.

Anousa said his team will provide an all new lighting system and special effects display on stage to max out the party atmosphere.

He expects the audience to exceed last year’s numbers and said he was confident the festival would be a boon for tourists visiting the area.

Other exciting entertainment activities provided by Lao Bangfai and Lao Pride Records are also on the schedule to make this festival an unforgettable one.

Major sponsors include Lao Brewery Company (Beerlao), Spy Wine Cooler, and other media partners.

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Source: Vientiane Times

Luang Prabang Handicrafts Festival Attracts more Visitors

Luang Prabang Handicrafts Festival has attracted more than 3,000 local and foreign visitors since the event began on December 4.

The weeklong festival is being organised by Luang Prabang Handicrafts Association and before it concludes on December 11 it is hoped they will be able to attract at least 9,000 visitors.

Ms Keo Oudomvilay, who is in charge of the organising committee told Vientiane Times about the visitor target yesterday.

This year marks the fifth year the festival has been held, Ms Keo said.

Holding this festival aims to coincide with celebrating the 21st Anniversary of Luang Prabang as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, she added.

Ms Keo said the festival has featured 20 booths and tourists can shop at the producers’ market as well as join demonstration events.

This year, it is mostly artisans and handicrafts makers participating in the festival. They are selling an extensive variety of products including textiles and many other cultural items from Luang Prabang and surrounding areas.

Beautiful handmade pieces are on sale to suit all budgets, from inexpensive souvenirs to exquisite high-end collectables, she said.

Food products such as coffee, tea, oils and spices produced in Laos are also a key feature of the event.

Moreover, visitors will be able to experience Lao cuisine, coffee and tea as well as witness traditional music and dancing performances.

Ms Keo added that visitors to the festival will notice that many women still wear a traditional tube skirt or sinh .

The sinh is usually made of silk, cotton or a combination of fibers and is woven with motifs that reflect the ethnic culture of a community or region, or the occasion for which it is intended.

Traditionally, a sinh is completely handmade; from the hand spinning of the silk or cotton threads to the dyeing process, preparation of the pattern and loom, and finally; hand weaving.

UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site in 1995 and since then tourist arrivals have risen with each passing year.

Luang Prabang is the former capital of the Lane Xang Kingdom, meaning the Land of a Million Elephants. The town is a cultural centre in the region, with its numerous temples paying testimony to its former glory.

Its landmark attractions are its centuries-old Buddhist temples and monasteries, Kuang Xi waterfall, Phousy hill and Buddha cave, all of which are easily accessible.

Luang Prabang was most foreign visitors’ first choice because of its old and attractive temples and the activities of the monks who live in these temples.

According to the Luang Prabang Tourist Office, over 400,000 tourists of all nationalities visited Luang Prabang province last year. They hope to boost the number to 700,000 tourists by 2020.

Source: Vientiane Times

Xayaboury Prepares for Annual Elephant Festival

Almost 70 elephants will feature in Xayaboury’s annual elephant festival from February 13-19, aiming to promote the province’s colourful culture and local livelihoods.

The aim of the festival is preserve the culture and livelihoods of Lao people who work with elephants. Elephants are a longstanding part of the nation’s history and have been an integral part of Lao life since ancient times.

Deputy Governor of the province, Mr Yanyong Sipaseuth, who also is a member of the event organising committee told media recently the 11th elephant festival will take place from February 13 to 19 at Xayaboury district stadium with the official opening being held on February 17.

Every year, provincial authorities plan many activities to celebrate the festival and this coming February 68 elephants will take part in events such as a grand parade, a baci ceremony, and even a beauty contest. The animals will also demonstrate their skills and the close relationship they have with their mahouts.

Visitors can take a ride on an elephant and watch them being bathed in the river.

In the evening there will be a vibrant street market featuring local products and goods from neighbouring countries.

The festival will spotlight the past and present role that elephants play in Laos, and their importance in Lao history and lifestyle.

It also highlights the plight of these endangered animals, whose numbers are dwindling fast.

Currently, elephant owners are being encouraged to care for their animals so that they are not overworked and can reproduce. Their former role as the mighty haulers of massive tree trunks through forests is becoming a thing of the past and instead they are living an easier life in the tourism industry.

The first elephant festival was held in 2007 in Hongsa district, when it was organised by the conservation group ElefantAsia.

It was subsequently held in Paklai district and then in Xayaboury district, which has hosted the event since 2012.

Source: Vientiane Times

Savannakhet Gears Up for That Inhang Festival

The annual That Inhang stupa festival in Kaysone Phomvihane district, Savannakhet province, is ready to go ahead from December 10-14, local authorities have confirmed.

Kaysone Phomvihane district Governor, Mr Bounyou Thammavong, told Vientiane Times on December 1  For this year’s festival we focused on local cultural activities in the hope they will interest visitors and make them want to come back again.

During the afternoon of the official opening ceremony day on December 12, attendees can enjoy a cultural performance with over 10 programmes. I hope they will teach all visitors more about the lifestyle here in Savannakhet province.

During the five-day festival, the organising committee will hold a trade fair which will mainly exhibit products from the province’s 15 districts. Meanwhile, the provincial authority will also present the One District, One Product (ODOP) logo to three districts, namely Kaysone Phomvihane, Songkhon and Atsaphon, so they will be known as ODOP districts, he added.

According to the festival schedule, on the afternoon of December 13 thousands of devotees will take part in a wax castle procession around the stupa and on the morning of December 14 there will be a tak baat (alms giving) ceremony. This is a traditional ritual that is a highlight of the annual festival, allowing people to pay homage to the revered stupa.

According to tourismlaos.org, That Inghang is a sacred stupa and reportedly the burial site of one of Buddha’s bones. It is an important place for Buddhists and is registered as a National Treasure of Laos. It was built about 450 years ago during the reign of King Marukhanakhone to commemorate the Buddha’s visit to the site.

Buddha is believed to have delivered a sermon to people at the site and later took a rest under the Hang tree. This is the reason why the stupa is called That Inghang.

The That Inghang festival takes place every December. The stupa is located in That village, Kaysone Phomvihane district. The easiest way to get there is to head out along Route 9 for about 12km and turn left at the police post, and then drive straight for about another 3km and you will come directly to the stupa.

Women are required to wear a traditional sinh (long Lao skirt) to enter the site. These are available next to the entrance. Normally, on days other than the festival, the gate is open daily from 8am to 6pm.

Savannakhet province is situated in central Laos and is the largest province with about 21,774 square kilometres, bordered by Vietnam to the east, Thailand to the west, Khammuan province to the north and Saravan province to the south. About 60 percent of the land is covered by forests.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Booths all Set for Brisk Trade at That Luang Festival

This year’s That Luang Festival comprises different zones for the display and sale of various goods including those made under the One District, One Product (ODOP) scheme and imported products.

In a new move, the authorities have banned vendors from selling alcoholic drinks in the festival grounds.

The zones for the display and sale of ODOP and other local products are at That Luang esplanade, with over 300 booths selling ODOP products made in various districts around the country.

Meanwhile foreign-made goods will be on sale at the Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC).

Vendors are already displaying their products during the annual festival, which runs from November 8-14.

Vientiane Times spoke to a concessionaire in the That Luang area, who asked not to be named, about booth availability.

He said there were over 200 booths in his area in the high-demand zone between the National Assembly and the Phonkheng village zone in Xaysettha district.

In his concession area, the rental for pitches ranged from 1 million kip to 3.5 million kip, depending on location. Booths in this zone could only sell ordinary goods and food, not ODOP products, he explained.

He had rented out 95 booths already, with the authorities announcing that all booths are to sell their goods from November 8-14.

Festival organising officials told Vientiane Times they had prepared a special attraction this year, and commissioned a traditional village to be reproduced near That Luang-tay temple.

The model village will feature a traditional arts show and display foods symbolic of the northern, central and southern regions, as well as selling old items that would have been used in days gone by. Visitors can also watch weaving demonstrations.

The main activities at the That Luang Festival will be similar to those of previous years. Event organisers are seeking to perpetuate Lao customs and culture and put them on full view for local and foreign visitors.

The religious part of the festival will run from November 12-14 and give people the chance to pray at the That Luang stupa and pay their respects to the grand monument.

On November 13, the festivities will begin with the wax castle procession at Vat Simueang and end with a colourful procession around the stupa.

Almsgiving to monks will take place on the last day of the festival, November 14, in the early morning. This will be followed by the ritual game of tikhy and other traditional activities.

To ensure public safety, security officials will station teams of officials in and around the That Luang esplanade.

Organising officials are working with village authorities to arrange car and motorbike parking, aiming to ensure orderliness and reduce traffic jams.

Authorities have designated parking areas around the That Luang crossroads. They have set a parking fee limit of 15,000-20,000 kip for a car and a maximum of 10,000 kip for a motorbike, depending on location.

If drivers feel they are being charged too much, they may discuss the matter with security staff at police boxes around the National Assembly and in That Luang-tay village.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Police Outline That Luang Festival Traffic Plans

The Vientiane Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security is stationing 400 police officers around town from November 8-14 to ensure public safety during this year’s That Luang Festival.

The department held a meeting on Tuesday to outline its security plans for the festival and the fair at Lao-ITECC.

The meeting was attended by the Director General of the Traffic Police Department, Colonel Khamthavai Phetouthai, Vientiane Police Office Deputy Chief and Director of the Vientiane Traffic Police Department, Lieutenant Colonel Youttaphong Souvannasing, and fellow officers.

Speaking at the meeting, Lt Col Youttaphong said motorists would encounter increased congestion and other traffic problems during the festival.

Most of the congestion is expected along Kaysone Phomvihane, Nongbone, Sisangvone and Kamphaengmeuang roads leading into the festival.

Some 400 police officers will be on duty at 81 police posts and 14 vehicles will be on standby to deal with any accidents.

The police are calling on road users to respect the traffic regulations and obey police officers’ instructions to minimise congestion and road accidents.

Parking is permitted in front of the National Assembly while public transport will drop off and pick up passengers along roads from Xangpheuak, Hongkaikeo, That Luang Market, Sisangvone-Phonxay, Patouxay, and Phonsaart.

Vehicles travelling from Road 13 North towards That Luang will be allowed to park at areas set up by the festival committee or at Patuxay, in front of the Indochina Bank and along side roads in Sibounheua village, but must not obstruct other vehicles.

Vehicles travelling from Road 13 South and Road No 10 may park near the Khamphuangphet football field and on side roads in Phonphanao village, without obstructing traffic.

Vehicles coming from Thadeua and Hadxaifong district may park along Phonsinuan and Saphangmor roads.

Vehicles travelling from Xamkhey, Nakhuay, Dongkhamxang and Xiengda are permitted to park at Huakhua Market and the New That Luang Market.

Vehicles heading to Lao-ITECC can park in the centre’s parking lot.

Meanwhile, trucks travelling on Road 13 North and South, and those bound for theLao-Thai Friendship Bridge are advised to use Dongdok-Nongbeuk and 450 roads.

The Festival Organising Committee is arranging electric shuttle buses to transport visitors and help ease traffic congestion from November 12-14.

Bus tickets will cost 2,500 to 5,000 kip per passenger and bus stops will be located at the That Luang crossroads with services running from 5pm to 11pm.

Source: Vientiane Times