Luang Prabang to host annual boat racing festival

Wed, 08/09/2023 - 14:04

Luang Prabang has made preparations for its annual boat racing festival on the Khan River, which will coincide with the Buddhist Lent beginning on September 14. Mr. Viengthong Hatsachanh, the Governor of Luang Prabang, has officially announced the eagerly-awaited event during the Boun Khao Padapdin, the Day of the Commemoration of the Dead. This religious festival holds special significance as it pays homage to ancestors, both within households and outside temples. It commences precisely at the halfway point of the Buddhist Lent and culminates on its final day.

Picture: Local roads and temples are served with food portions to commemorate the souls of the deceased.

The boat races will feature fifty athletes competing over several hundred meters in the scorching heat, with victory bringing pride to one of the villages of Luang Prabang, and the cheers of encouragement echo throughout the festivities. The races generally commence around mid-day, concluding before sunset. Alongside the boat races, the focal point of attraction is a grand fair, spanning one kilometer along Sisavangvong Road, where numerous people gather to indulge in bargain shopping for the Boun Haw Khao Padap Din festival. After the boat races conclude in the evening, the entertainment continues with traditional dances, songs, and student performances taking center stage. The evening will be enriched by various live bands ensuring that everyone enjoys the festivities.

Mr. Viengthong emphasizes that the boat racing festival will be conducted in strict accordance with the province's customs and traditions, aiming to showcase and celebrate the rich heritage, culture, and uniqueness of Luang Prabang, a site of immense historical value designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Picture: Boat racing competition on the Khan River in Luang Prabang.

Picture: Boat racing competition on the Khan River in Luang Prabang.