Lao New Year - Pi mai Songkran Festival
Annual cultural and religious festival in Champasak- South of Laos
In the tradition, Champasak people are used to prepare their own scented water to cleanse the Buddha statues in the temples, but also to pour the sacred water on the head of the eldests.
I like preparing also mine, with curcuma rizhome, an acid touch like green mango or lemon, and santal.
We use the beautiful yellow flower of Cassia (Dok khoun) to spread the water, like a brush on the statues.
Some local people sell the prepared water in front of the temple, or the morning of the 1st day on the road.
Some flowers or ingredients are not appropriate for this day.
Sok dee Pi mai !
14-15-16 April 2019
Songkran (Sankranti in sanskrit) Festival, celebrates the Lao New Year, following the Lunar calendar. The fixed dates are usually now on the 13th or 14th April till the 15th or 16th.
During 3 days, traditional festivities and Buddhist ceremonies can be observed all over Laos, but also Thailand, Myamnar, Cambodgia and Sri Lanka, which followed the Buddhism Theravada.
Pi mai Festival Highlights
The 1st day, 14 April 2019 at 2.00/ 3.00 pm, Buddhists people go for a tour visiting 3-5-7 or 9 temples in order to cleanse and pour scented water on the Buddha statues. This is the last day of the year. Time to clean houses, own spirit and all bad actions we may have generated during the year.
The 2nd day, 15 April 2019, is a day lost in the time.
No more in the past year and not yet in the new one.
A day to visit friends and family, enjoy time. Children and younger people pour scented water on the head and shoulders of the olders in a respectful ritual for good wishes.
The 3rd day, 16 April 2019 is the 1st day of the new year.
Pi mai Lao New year Festival Highlights
Celebrate the past year at school, in the temples, on the road Songkran Festival in Champasak …
Nathalie's Tips !
Mainly from 3.00 pm to 6.00 pm in Champasak, local people go outside to pour or splash water on everyone who is passing in front of the door.
This is for good luck, but also for fun. If you do not appreciate to be wet (even under 40C), just say NO before passing. If you want to join them, choose your team. Please, think to protect your passeport and your telephone in a plastic bag…
You may choose so spend the festival in a city like Pakse if you want more fun with water and parties or in Champasak or small villages for a friendly atmosphere.
I recommend to stay the 3 days in the same area ; plan to arrive on the 13th, leaving after the festival from the 17th.
Local people are not willing to work, and they drink also to celebrate the new year. Please, kindly, drive safely if you are motorcyclist.
Lao New year is officially a 3 non-working days, banks and Lao Administration are closed from 12 to 17 April.
ATMs in Champasak are somtimes empty during this special period.
You can visit Vat Phou temple as usual during the festival 8.00 am to 5.00 pm
Buddhist Theravada people follow the Lunar Calendar for ceremony and rituals.
The Buddhist calendar is 543 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar ; we are in the year 2562.
Champasak-Spa will be closed on the 14 -15 – 16 April 19. You can book now for the 17th at 10.00 am.
Could be the best time to cleanse your skin and let your ancient energies go with a homemade Body-scrub. Especially if you know our Promotional Packages, starting after Lao new year.
Sabaidee Pi mai to all of you !