That Luang Festival

14 Nov 2017

You can look forward to fairs, processions, picnics, fireworks, activities and more at the That Luang Festival.

  • When? 14th November 2017
  • Where? Pha That Luang, Vientiane
  • Price: Free

If you're feeling a little stressed out on your travels, head for the That Luang Festival in the Lao capital. The celebrations at this annual event will see your problems disappear quicker than a magician's rabbit. With a feast of activities, entertainment and more, you'll be completely drawn in by this religiously inspired celebration.

One of Laos' most significant Buddhist festivals, That Luang Festival lasts between three and seven days and takes place during the full moon in November or sometimes October (depending on the Lunar calendar). It's a joyous affair enjoyed by the whole city and an array of tourists who visit Vientiane during these months. Held at the emphatic Pha That Luang - known as the country's most important national symbol - you can expect a variety of celebrations.

At the beginning of proceedings, a colourful 'wax castle' procession involves groups honouring the Vientiane city pillar by laying beautiful flowers, before monks do the Taak Baat (an art ritual) around the stupa. Later, performers dance and sing for the crowds where as a number of activities take place around the temple such as the traditional game of tikhy which is similar to hockey. Around the esplanade, concerts, trade fairs and funfairs also attract people from all over Laos. Many people come dressed in their best clothes and enjoy picnics in the evening before fireworks are set off into the night sky. 

This is a fantastic culturally stimulating event for all those who visit Vientiane during the festival. If you can stick around for at least a day of the celebrations, you certainly won't regret it. For some it might even be somewhat of a magical experience (although we can't promise any rabbits).    

  • Get there: Fly to Wattay International Airport and travel for around 25 minutes to reach the temple.
  • Stay: Find accommodation in Ban Nongbone to be nearby.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!