Laos is the place of festival, and there is festival in each month of the year. There are four times of Tet (New Year): Western new year, New Year of Chinese calendar (like some other Orient countries), Laos Tet (Bun Pimay in April) and H’mong Tet (December).
There are other kinds of festivals such as: Bun PhaVet (Incarnation of Buddha) in January; Bun VisakhaPuya (Vessak) in April, Bun BangPhay (firecracker to heaven) in Mayl Bun Khao PhanSa (vegetarian season) in July; Bun Khao Padapdin (tribute the Passaway) in September; Bun Suanghua (boat racing) in October, etc.
Like other countries in South East Asia, there are two parts in festivals of Laos: ceremony and festivals.
These are the rituals offered by the people to have sympathetic nerve with the Gods. Apart from the traditional religious like the ritual of processing God PhiMuong (supporter of province) from Si Muong pagoda to That Luang pagoda, Boun That Luang has other meaning of politics for a festival of vowing. Since the King Fa Ngum dynasty (14th century) to 1975, this festival is led by the king of Lao. There are all of the high-rank officials in province, district and villages come to attend the festival and work out for the mutual issue of country. The leading monk holds a string by white cloth to go around the villages and connect them. This activity symbols the royal and united of the nation, and it is forbidden to separate.
The mouth-words of Laos is “Khon Lao mac muon” (Laotian loves fun), and it is clearly expressed in the festival part. There are often games and entertainment under different methods from cuisine to music, culture, exhibition and trading. Particularly, Bun That Luang is the time for the international three-day exhibition of Laos.
This is the time of new year in Laos’ calendar which is called Bunpimay, (Pi Mai, Pee Mai, Koud Song Kane or Bunhot Nam) mean the water throwing festival which is organized from 13 to 15 of April every year. This is the Tet of Buddhism calendar because Laos’ national religion is Buddhism. People throw water to wish for good things and peace for the whole year. Like Thai people and Cambodian, Bunpimay festival brings the cool and prosperity for creature. It creates the happiness and fullness to people’s lives. Bunpimay is the occasion to nurture nation’s art.