Lao New Year in Luang Prabang, Laos

It has been a dream come true for me to be able to celebrate Lao New Year (Boun Pi Mai) in Luang Prabang, Laos. As a kid growing up in Vientiane, celebrating Lao New Year was a blast for my siblings and I. We would be out on the street by our house and splashing water on people walking or driving by. We were always polite and would ask permission first before gently pouring water on people. Our parents often said that someday when we are all grown up and able to afford a trip to Luang Prabang, we would go there during Lao New Year to be part of a beautiful tradition.

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Unfortunately I was the only one from my family that went on a once in a life time trip to Luang Prabang, Laos for Lao New Year Celebration. The first day of the festivity was fun and exhausting at the same time for me. I am not used to the heat of Laos anymore. It was nice to be cool down now and then with people splashing water on me while I walk around town taking photos and video clips or when I am riding in a Tuk-Tuk to get from one part of the town to the other.

The only part I don’t like about Lao New Year is the throwing of water with paint or with dye and the use of charcoal to paint the faces of people. My friends and I were splashed with a bucket of water with blue pain while in a Tuk-Tuk. Luckily it was near the end of the day so the pain was quite thin and it was a type of paint that you would use to paint a house with.

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