Boat Racing Festival 2017 will fall on Oct 4-6 following the announcement made by the Governor of Chanthabouly district Mrs. Bouarone Vongdarasan on Sep 28.
Traditionally, boat racing festival draws a crowded flock of people from all directions of Vientiane Capital and provinces across the country.
The festival is held annually at Tha Vat Chanh of Chanthaboury district where a number of boats representing public organizations, private sector, business community and communities compete for victories and prizes.
The purpose of the event is to promote and preserve the culture of the Lao people. Local authorities said that maintaining peace and order during the celebration of the festival was a priority though admiting that maintaining the cleanliness and protecting public properties as well as flowers gardens, and trees on the Chao Anouvong Park would be a challenge as a large number of people would flock to the park which is the venue of the boat racing festival.
Mrs. Bouarone said that the boat racing festival provided golden opportunities for entrepreneurs of all sizes to come and make money as the event always drew huge crowds.
Many vendors travel long distances to sell popular traditional foods such as khaolam – sticky rice stuffed in bamboo tubes –, and ping kai – grilled chicken –, tam mak houng – Lao traditional papaya salad, among others.
The roadsides near the boat racing venue become hot spots for vehicle parking service. Every square metre of vacant land and footpath are occupied for pay parking service. Parking services usually fetch for its providers 3,000 kip per bicycle, 5,000 kip per motorcycle and 15,000 kip for each auto mobile. Some especially tricky opportunists may even charge much higher prices.
On October 5, at 7:00 am, alm offerings will be made by buddhist followers in the morning, with a traditional canddlelit procession held at all temples across the country when the sun off. Around 7:00 pm there will be light boat floating known by Lao people as lai heua fai. Heuafai is a boat with lit candles. The vessel is made of banana leaf or banana trunk and floated on the river for good luck.