Welcome to Laos and celebrate New Year like no other in the world with our Laos vacation package. The New Year holiday, or Pi Mai Laos, is a time bursting with unique traditions you won’t find anywhere else. Our travel guide blog allows you to immerse yourself fully in the culture during this celebratory time. Our packages highlight the can’t-miss Pi Mai Laos festivities, from sand stupa-building competitions to cleansing Baci ceremonies. End your old year and ring in the new one by taking one trip to this unique country immediately!

Where to Celebrate the Laos New Year?

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang stands out as a premier destination for celebrating Pi Mai Laos, boasting an extensive array of parades and festivities that typically span about seven days. A religious focal point during these celebrations is the venerated Prabang Buddha effigy in its golden shelter atop two extended poles, leading a street procession carried by a group of young men.

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New Year Festinal in Laos (Source: Internet)

The procession is led by two iconic mythical characters, Gna Gneu and Pou Gneu, also known as Grandma and Grandpa Gneu. The parade concludes with the placement of the sacred statue at Wat May. The figure will rest for three days of merriment. Over this period, people expressed their reverence by pouring floral-infused water over the Buddha image. Luang Prabang also hosts a beauty pageant known as the Nang Sangkhane contest, a vibrant celebration featuring entrants, each personifying one daughter of King Kabinlaphom. The participants parade down main thoroughfares, at times atop elephants. As the evening unfolds, enchanting processions featuring Nagas and a myriad of traditional performances fill the atmosphere with cultural richness.


In Vientiane, festivities parallel those of Luang Prabang during the Pi Mai Laos celebrations. The city’s vibrant celebration encompasses a variety of events, including a captivating beauty contest, engaging art shows, dynamic sports competitions, a spirited sand stupa (temporary pagodas) building competition, and heritage musical performances along the picturesque Mekong riverbanks.

Streets come alive with exuberant water fights, where revelers armed with buckets, water pistols, and bottles engage in friendly splashing. Drenching people becomes a heartwarming way to convey wishes for New Year blessings in Laoss. Travelers are warmly welcomed to participate in these joyous celebrations, adding to the collective spirit of merriment and camaraderie.

Three Days of the Laoss New Year

Pi Mai Laos, known as the locals’ New Year, unfolds amidst the scorching summer season. The annual celebrations span from April 13th to 15th with the festivities often extending beyond these dates in significant locations. In this country, the celebrations revolve around performing benevolent actions, emphasizing the elements of sand, water, flowers, and animals as integral components of the festivities.

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New Year Festival in Laos (Source: Internet)

Three days of Laos New Year carry unique significance and are accompanied by distinct traditions and activities that are indispensable experiences in your Laos vacation package.

  • The 1st day

The commencement of Pi Mai Laos, Sangkhan Luang, signifies the culmination of the outgoing year. During this day, individuals engage in the thorough cleaning of their homes and villages, ensuring readiness for the upcoming days by arranging water, flowers, and perfume.

  • The 2nd day

The second day of the holiday exists outside the boundaries of both the Old and New Years, offering a period of leisure and enjoyment. People engage in activities like visiting relatives and friends or embarking on day trips, making it a time for relaxation and camaraderie. Following tradition, elders typically counsel the younger generation to refrain from taking a nap on the second day, as it is thought that doing so may lead to illness in the upcoming year.

  • The 3rd day

Day three of this multi-day holiday commences with locals adorning themselves in exquisite silk attire. A significant aspect of the day involves making offerings at the temple, where individuals express their devotion. Additionally, younger members of the community visit their grandparents, parents, and elders, symbolically washing their hands with water. This ritual serves as an opportunity to seek forgiveness and blessings for any missteps in the preceding year. As the day progresses, family gatherings take place, featuring the spiritual baci rituals conducted by community members. These ceremonies are born to invoke prosperity and luck for the year ahead.

Laos New Year Festival Tips

Plan Your Trip in Advance

This special occasion attracts a significant influx of people returning to Laoss from various cities, and tourists also converge in major urban centers to partake in the festivities. Consequently, accommodations such as guesthouses and hotels experience full bookings during this period. It is highly recommended to make advance arrangements for both accommodation and transportation To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Planning ahead and securing reservations will help travelers navigate the heightened demand during the festive season, providing a more comfortable and hassle-free celebration in your Laos vacation package.


In the midst of the lively celebrations, it’s crucial to be vigilant about your personal belongings, especially in crowded places. Consider using waterproof bags in order to safeguard items like room keys and mobile phones. As an added precaution, leave cards at your hotel and refrain from carrying excessive valuables or cash. Given that water fights have become a familiar and spirited part of the celebration in big cities, it’s worth noting that there have been reports of residents playfully involving travelers, even if they may not initially express interest.

If you prefer not to partake in the water festivities, opt for private transportation as a comfortable alternative. This way, you can still enjoy the vibrant atmosphere without directly participating in the water-related activities.


The Laos New Year is filled with incredible cultural traditions, from the parades of Buddha images to receiving blessings from monks. Our article has guided you to fully experience this joyful celebration and ring in the new year surrounded by rich Laos customs. Take your chance to participate in unique rituals like building sand stupas for good luck or receiving spirit-tying strings at an energizing Baci ceremony. Book our Laos vacation package now and welcome the new year immersed in the fantastic Laos culture with memories to last a lifetime.

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