Source: Vientiane Times
The government has announced four consecutive public holidays for Lao New Year or Pi Mai Lao from April 13-16 bringing the total break to six days including Saturday and Sunday, the longest in years.
As April 16 falls on Saturday, therefore April 12 (Tuesday) will be a public holiday in compensation for the Saturday, according to the announcement from the Government Office.
This year’s New Year with four-day holiday is the longest one in years as the normal New Year break only includes three-days.
A four-day New Year holiday occurs every three or four years in accordance with astrological calculations, a Lao astrologist Uncle Maha Keo Souvannaphong said.
In its announcement, the government has prohibited state departments from spending state budget or using vehicles for personal use or activities during the annual new-year festival. The state offices were also banned from organising expensive parties.
The government has also instructed the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Vientiane and provincial authorities to follow up and make sure that prices of goods in local markets remain stable during this peak time.
Authorities in charge have been asked to ensure sufficient supply of goods, especially foods during the national festival.
In addition, all state departments across the country have been asked to pay special attention to maintaining security and social order, while preventing potential fires from occurring during this dry season.
The government instructed the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to act in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security to facilitate transport and traffic to maintain smooth and safe commuting, while preventing road accidents from happening and strictly prohibiting drunk-driving.
The government has encouraged members of the public to observe and preserve Lao culture while enjoying the festival. Festival goers were warned not to splash water or engage in any inappropriate practices as it could cause damage or unpleasantness for others.
Earlier this week, Vientiane authorities set ceiling prices for some food items in order to prevent merchants and traders from setting their prices unreasonably high.
The maximum price for beef is set at 75,000 kip per kilogramme, grade A pork is set at 37,000 kip per kg, grade B pork is set at 35,000 per kg, streaky pork is set at 33,000 kip per kg, and tilapia is set at 22,000 kip per kg.