In addition to some holidays such as Lao National Military’s Day and International New Year’s Day, Bun Pha Vet Festival is the only festival to fall in January. However, the significance of Bun Pha Vet to the Laos is not debatable compared to many other festivals throughout the rest of the months.
Bun Pha Vet Festival
- Time: Different dates in the first month of the year (January).
- Location: All the temples throughout Laos.
- Meaning: The festival is held to celebrate Jataka or birth-tale of Prince Vessanthara, the Buddha’s penultimate existance.
It is worth noting that during the festival is that the Prince Vessantara is a common tale and is recited all over the country. As a traveller, you should not only be familiar with the tale but also be able to recite it comfortably to blend in well with the locals. The historical aspect of the festival seeks to address the Buddha’s penultimate life and seek to remind people of the same during its celebration.
Bun Pha Vet is also considered particularly auspicious time for the ordination of the men into monkhood. Festivities are staggered between villages so that different villages can visit one another to their celebrations. Moreover, as the festival has no definite date like other festivals, it gives room for dishing out invitations to family and friends to gather in different villages in a bid to join in the celebrations. During the festival, they will celebrate sacred ceremonies, prepare traditional food and enjoy great time together.