Festivals & Events in Laos

Laos is country of multi-ethnic nature and each community has a lot of festivals all year round. Some festivals may affect your tour itinerary in the country and/or your travel interests. It's always good to know the main ones that are more likely encountered on your holiday in Laos. Many other festivals held in different regions are not mentioned here. If you plan to travel thoroughly through Laos or if you plan to have an adventure tour in remote regions of the country, please consult our travel experts for further information.

 January

01-03 Jan - International New Year's Day: Public holidays. Banks and public offices are closed, so are most businesses.

Mid January - Bun Khun Khao: Annual harvest festivals to thank the land spirits which have helped their crops to flourish.

January - February
Around January or February - Vietnamese Tet and Chinese New Year:  governmental offices and businesses closed for 3 days.

March
08 Mar  - International Womens' Day: Public holiday for women only.

April
Mid April (15th, 16th, 17th )  - Lao New Year: This is the most special occasion for every Lao. Everyone celebrates the traditional new year and all governmental offices as well as businesses are closed. All temples and wats are busy. People take to the streets and splash water to one another.

May
01 May  - International Labour Day: Public holiday, all governmental offices are closed as well as businesses.
May - The 15th of the Fourth Lunar Month: The Buddha's birthday celebration. All Buddhist wats and temples are very busy.

July
The Rain Retreat: the 15th of the Sixth Lunar Month starts the three-month rains retreat time. During this time, Buddhist monks are to stay at their wat without wandering about. This is also the time for young men to enter shangha (monkhood) temporarily.

August - September
The 15th of the Sevenxth Lunar Month: festival to pay respect to and to bless the wandering souls.

October - November
The 15th of the Ninth Lunar Month: celebrates the end of the 3-month rains retreat. Monks are again allowed to leave their wat and travel. Some boys who have entered shangha earlier may leave their monk-hood life also. There are water festival and boat races at this time.

December
02 December - Lao National Day: celebrates the 1975 victory bringing down the monarchy. All governmental offices and businesses are closed.

24 Dec  - Christmas Eve: This is not an official public holiday, even though places are busier with people and visitors. Compulsory dinner is required at most hotels.

31 Dec – New Year’s Eve: Compulsory dinner is required at most hotels. Public holiday and all places closed in the afternoon.