Laos tour packages, including the Fire Boat Festival, will make your journey in Laos more pleasant because of its beauty. This interesting festivity is organized in Luang Prabang, a magical and fascinating place during the event.
This article covers everything you need about the Luang Prabang Fire Boat Festival. Let’s find out what’s being celebrated, who’s attending, how to participate, and what to expect from this festival.
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Fire Boat Festival Overview
Known as the Festival of Lights or Boun Lai Heua Fai in the Laos language, this is one of Laos’s most dramatic events. People organize it to praise the Mekong River for providing Laos’ livelihood and annual abundance as part of the celebration of Buddhist Lent’s conclusion and the drought’s initial day. Since it’s a Buddha Dharma holiday, and the majority of people in Laos practice Buddhism, about 50%, this is a community-wide celebration.
Lent in Buddhism is the three months when Buddhist monks spend much time in the temple to meditate and have a better understanding of the Dharma, as Buddha’s words taught. You may observe both the joy of the monks’ retreat approaching a close and the conclusion of Laos’ rainy seasons by attending this festivity.
Where You Can See This Festival
This festival – Boun Lai Heua Fai, is performed all over Laos. You can catch the moment no matter where you are in Laos; however, the best places to see it are the Lao capital, Vientiane, or Luang Prabang, much smaller than Vientiane.
You’d better choose Luang Prabang to enjoy the whole festival because you can conveniently walk around the temples decorated for the Festival of Lights, which is also included in Laos tour packages if you want to see it.
What Takes Place?
The Fire Boat Festival is a sincerely unifying celebration that brings individuals from different walks of life together, including the poorest peasants, the wealthiest and the wealthiest landowners, old and young people, monks, and laypeople. If you visit Laos, do not miss this festival because it will awe you with its activities.
In Luang Prabang, lanterns will appear to make the town a magical and colorful place during the festivity, creating an enchanting atmosphere. Family members and individuals regularly make lanterns by utilizing bamboo and bright paper. They are magnificent throughout the day, but at night, candles or lights are added inside.
As the name of the festivity, there will be lots of fire boats created by the people. Specifically, each village constructs one fire boat, whereas each temple creates two boats of fire. The designs range from simple to complex structures that feature mythical creatures. The bamboo used to construct these magnificently crafted fire boats and covered in colored paper, and they are enormous.
As part of the festival, the Heau Fai flowed along the river, and the still-existing Heua Fai Chowk is on the temple’s grounds. A jury will evaluate fire boats before participating in the fire department parade. Its beauty cannot be fully described by watching it on television; only by seeing it in person will you be truly overwhelmed by its grandeur. When the fireboat is lit from the inside at night, colorful bamboo paper is employed to provide a charming, almost mystical appearance.
Parade of Fire Boats
When the moon is full, the boats will be launched. The parade begins after dark at the festival’s climax, and the parade’s final destination is indeed the River Mekong. Candles and offerings are placed inside fire boats that are unleashed to navigate the river. During the occasion, representatives from each village will appear with their charming ethnic grab and begin to parade alongside boats. During this night, Luang Prabang is lit by candles, lights with bright colors.
Final Festival On The Mekong River
At the end of the parade, all of the items will be halted at the Mekong River. You were unaware of many factors that contributed to the abandonment of fire boats and many items in the river. It’s a river tribute because Laos people consider it a way of requesting forgiveness from the river and all the gods who dwell in it for disrespecting and exploiting its water resources.
Also, launching offerings and fireboats in the Mekong River allows them to channel their negative emotions, such as bad luck, sickness, or maybe even failure, down the river. Aside from honoring the Buddha, the event also aims to send offerings to the deceased.
When Is the Luang Prabang Light Festival?
So if you are interested in this event, the date that organized this festivity is changed each year. But it often takes place on the night of the full moon in October. If you do not know the accurate time to start your tour, this site could help you determine the correct travel date to enjoy this festival fully. The procession is scheduled to begin at roughly 18:00, and people start to line up the Fire Boats around 17:30. So you won’t want to be late for this special occasion.
The Fire Boat Event in Luang Prabang in Laos is one of the special things that appeared in our Laos tour packages. If you plan to visit this country, you definitely should consider traveling at the right time. Just remember to bring a camera to capture all the moments.
This festivity will not disappoint you because of its fantastic night of joy, lights, and music.
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